CHICO Flores is determined to reclaim his Swansea City starting place for Saturday's trip to Newcastle.
The Spanish centre-back has missed the Swans' successive 1-1 draws against Southampton and Chelsea with a thigh injury he sustained in the 3-1 Capital One Cup victory over Liverpool a fortnight ago.
Club captain Garry Monk has stepped in with two excellent performances in the Premier League, but the £2.5 million summer signing is eager to return to action this weekend.
"Like all players, I want to play week in, week out," said Flores.
"I am not the type of person who likes to leave the field with an injury. But I just couldn't carry on at Liverpool — it was too bad.
"I thought I would recover after three or four days, but it just got worse and has dragged on.
"I'm still feeling a bit of pain, but it has improved a lot.
"I am hoping to return to full training on Thursday to see how it reacts."
The injury came at a particularly unfortunate time for Flores, who seemed to be developing a strong understanding with centre-back partner Ashley Williams.
"It was particularly disappointing because I thought I was at a good level after coming back from suspension," Flores added.
"I was feeling comfortable on the pitch and with the team.
"My English is improving all the time, and although it's still early days, I understand my team-mates a lot more and can express myself better.
"The injury is a blow, but I hope to be fit and performing well again soon, hopefully at Newcastle on Saturday."
Meanwhile, Danny Graham scored on his comeback from a back injury as the Swansea Under-21s lost 2-1 to Cardiff City.
Kemy Agustien played the first 45 minutes to add to his brief Premier League cameo at Southampton last weekend, but young midfielder Lee Lucas was stretchered off with an injury after 14 minutes.
Home side Cardiff dominated the first half, with Swans goalkeeper David Cornell making a string of fine saves.
The hosts took the lead through Craig Conway's powerful strike, before Jesse Darko doubled their lead shortly after.
Swansea pulled one back through a Graham penalty, but Kris O'Leary's side left empty-handed.