By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
Newcastle United's training camp in La Manga has seen a welcome return for fit-again midfielder Vurnon Anita.
The 26-year-old has been sidelined since the end of December by a hamstring injury sustained at West Bromwich Albion, but joined in with the Magpies' squad again for the first time on Thursday.
Anita came through a double session unscathed and told nufc.co.uk he cannot wait to get back into match action and help lift United away from the wrong end of the Barclays Premier League table.
"It has been a good camp for me," he said.
"I have been out for seven-and-a-half weeks - that is way too long for me and the longest I have ever been out. But I am back training with the group for the first time and my hamstring feels good.
"I hope to get back on the pitch very soon to help the team because it is hard watching at any time, but even more so when results aren't going our way.
"You want to help but you cannot do anything other than offering support to your teammates, which is what I have done. But now I am getting closer to playing again and that will be a good moment for me."
Having spent the early part of his career in his native Holland, where there is an annual winter break, mid-season training camps are a familiar thing for Anita.
And the former Ajax man explained the benefits they bring from a players' perspective.
"You get everybody together for a few days with no other surroundings and no distractions, so it means everyone is completely focussed," he continued.
"A change of scenery from being at the same training ground every day of the season is also nice.
"The weather is better than at home, we are able to work hard in it with two sessions a day, and the team will benefit from this."