Chelsea star Dujon Sterling has discussed his return to pre-season training after a difficult campaign last term.
The 21-year-old missed a year of football after picking a hamstring injury during a loan spell at Wigan last season.
He has impressed in pre-season training as Chelsea's young guns try to make their case in search of a spot in the senior squad.
"I’ve been back playing since February. It had been a long time without actually playing, and even training competitively, so it’s good to be back. I’m really happy," said Sterling, as quoted by Chelsea's official website.
"I got about 10 Premier League 2 games under my belt just before last season ended (at Wigan), so that was a good run-out, but obviously not at the level of training and playing with the first team here (at Chelsea).
"I’m still working on getting back to the fitness levels I had before, but I feel like I’m physically stronger than I was before I got injured. More powerful, stronger, quicker, so, in that aspect it’s been good, now it’s just about playing games."
The London-born defender was one of many youngsters included in the west London side's travelling squad for their pre-season trip to Ireland.
He has also highlighted the improvement in his game since he's been training with the pre-season squad under Blues boss Thomas Tuchel in recent weeks.
Sterling, who is in talks with the club over a new contract, has previously revealed how he felt whilst coming up against the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic during the Champions League winners' early season preparations.
He added: "I’ve been working on those things with the coaches at Chelsea, and even in the gym by myself when I’m away from the club. I’ve been putting in the work to get stronger, because I know where I need to be at to be able to compete at first-team level."