Kyle Bartley believes he is ready to make his Swansea City return to after four months out with a knee injury.
The defender played 60 minutes during the under-23s’ 2-0 International Cup defeat to Athletic Bilbao B on Wednesday.
Bartley, who signed a new four-year deal earlier this season, has not played for the first team since the Swans’ Carabao Cup victory over MK Dons in August.
“It was good to get back out there,” he said.
“To get an hour under my belt this week should put me in good stead to hopefully get back in the first-team squad.
“It was important for me to get the minutes in my legs and make sure all is okay. I think I ticked a lot of boxes with the game this week.
“I have been training for a couple of weeks with the physios and fitness coaches. They have done a great job with me behind the scenes.
“We now go into a busy Christmas period and hopefully I can help the team out. I feel ready to come back before the new year.
“I was devastated to get injured. I felt I had a good pre-season and had made an impact in the games I played, so it has been frustrating to be on the sideline.
“Unfortunately, these things happen in your career and they help you become stronger mentally and physically. I think I can come back as a better player and person.”
Bartley, who impressed on loan at Leeds last season, featured three times at the start of this season before sustaining his injury.
But the 26-year-old, who signed from Arsenal in 2012, has seen enough from the Swans to believe they can pull clear of relegation danger in the second half of the season.
“I think it is important for us to keep in touch with the six or seven teams ahead of us,” he added.
“The lads know it has not been good enough so far this season.
“We need to keep the team spirit high and start to pick up some points between now and January.
“We have been in this situation before, we have to stay positive and believe we can get ourselves out of it.
“I hope I can make an impact over this busy Christmas period and show what I am capable of.”