Lewis Page is ready to put in a summer of hard graft to make sure he is fit and raring to go when Charlton gear up for next season.
The left-back was ruled out with a serious hamstring injury which he picked up in a 1-1 draw with Bradford in mid-March.
Page has been luckless since signing for the Addicks from West Ham in the January transfer window.
He lasted just 28 minutes before rolling his ankle on his debut against Millwall and was sent off on his return to the side in a 2-1 victory at Bolton.
Page has made just eight appearances before the latest setback, which required surgery.
He said: “I had my first days in the pool on Monday and Tuesday and should be able to get cracking in the gym in the next couple of weeks.
“The latest injury was high up my hamstring, just underneath the bum cheek. It had come away from the bone a little bit. The tendon had torn halfway down the leg. It was quite a significant tear.
“There was a decision whether to leave it and let it heal itself or have the operation, which would put me back a few weeks. There was a higher chance of it being more successful with surgery.
“Before that I’d had a few niggling injuries that I’d not had before. My luck at the moment isn’t quite in. Hopefully this is getting the bad stuff out of the way and I can be flying next season.
“You want to impress and show the fans what you can do when you first come to a club, to prove to your team-mates that you’re up to it.
“After my operation I had a week at home and couldn’t do much. I’ve been back in the last two weeks part-time because driving is still a little bit sore. It’s better being at home doing a few exercises.
“In the summer I’ll be in four or five days a week doing my rehab, strengthening the hamstring up.
“I’ll go on holiday probably for 10 days but the rest of the time I’ll do extra with the physio. I was going to do a lot anyway because I wanted to be back with a bang. So this is not going to be a big deal for me.”
Page, 20, was signed by Addicks boss Karl Robinson to replace Sheffield Wednesday-bound Morgan Fox.
He returned to West Ham on January 1 after a five-month loan at Coventry and penned a deal with Charlton which runs until 2019.
“I had a bit of thinking to do about it because I still had until the end of next season on my contract and might have had an extra year too,” said Page. “I had to think whether I would play or not at West Ham. I’d been back-up for the last two or three years.
“I’d played in the Europa League but [Aaron] Cresswell had been doing so well it was difficult to get opportunities.
“Charlton are a big club and I expected us to be pushing for promotion. I wanted to be a part of that and playing every week.”
Page and Josh Cullen, currently out gaining experience at Bradford, were the only players at West Ham in their age group to make the move from apprentices to part of the first-team squad.
“Just getting a scholarship was a highlight of my career because I was under-developed,” said Page. “I was one of the late developers – before that I was quite small, weak and slow.
“Having the two years gave me a bit of faith. I did a lot of gym work and ended up playing for the first-team and getting a professional contract. It was a big milestone. Making my debut in front of a full house at Upton Park was something I’ll never forget.”
Next on Page’s agenda is to get showreel moments at Charlton.
“When I came in there was talk of pushing for promotion – since then it’s been pretty negative. The win at the weekend was very good. Hopefully between now and the end of the season we can rebuild, have a full pre-season together as a team and go for promotion.
“Pre-season is going to be very important – in terms of tactics and getting a side together.”