Simone Pepe is hoping he can make a contribution to Juventus’ season after his injury nightmare in 2012-13.
The wide player was used in just one Serie A game last term – a 26 minute appearance against Lazio in November 2012.
But after surgery, an encouraging pre-season and a Primavera appearance last week, the almost 30-year-old is on the verge of a comeback.
“Last year wasn’t easy,” the former Roma and Udinese player told JTV. “But the birth of my daughter was a great joy and helped me overcome the most difficult moments.
“In addition, Juventus were like a second family to me and now I want to return to action and repay the extraordinary affection the club and fans have shown me.
“I feel good and everything’s going very well at present. We’ll keep assessing my condition with the backroom staff on a daily basis, but I’m training well and that’s the most important thing.”
The return of Pepe could give 3-5-2 boss Antonio Conte the option of using a 4-3-3, a system that may be useful in Europe.
“It will be tough against whomever we play in the Champions League,” Pepe added when asked about today’s draw.
“There are clearly top teams such as Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid who have that little bit extra.
“It won’t be easy, but we’ve got the strength to give it a good go against anybody.”