Ronald Vargas’ horror leg fracture was one of the few scars on Newcastle Jets’ sensational 2017/18 Hyundai A-League season.
But with the screw in his left ankle removed and the Jets aiming to gone one better this year, the Venezuelan is ready to make up for lost time.
Vargas made a huge impact for Ernie Merrick’s side in the early weeks of last season before suffering a painful ankle dislocation against Brisbane Roar in Round Three.
"It’s feeling very good," Vargas said.
"The screw was out after the (Grand) Final (against Melbourne Victory) and it’s feeling much better. But of course I need training to feel 100 percent but it’s on the way.
"When I had the screw I had a lot of restriction on the mobilisation of my ankle."
Merrick’s swashbuckling Jets side were only dwarfed in the goals scored column by Premiers Sydney FC last Hyundai A-League season, and the combination of a fit again Vargas alongside Caltex Socceroo Dimitri Petratos is one that will excite Newcastle fans.
But with striker Roy O’Donovan suspended and NAB Young Footballer of the Year nominee Joey Champness a doubt for the start of the season after fracturing his foot, Vargas may have to hit the ground running.
This Wednesday's FFA Cup Round of 16 encounter with Hyundai A-League rivals Melbourne City should offer a good sign of how ready Vargas is to shoulder that responsibility.
“It’s going to be a tough game but we know this already. The group and the players are working hard in the last two weeks thinking about this. We are going with a good mentality and good fitness.
“They (Melbourne City) didn’t change so much so it’s not that they will be different. We really think more about what we can do.
"I believe if we play the game that we need to do, how we train, it will be good for us or a good opportunity to really get the game.”