Joe Bennett joked that Jores Okore was probably smiling when he was stretchered off against Newcastle at the start of the season - such is his cheery disposition.
The central defender has kept that merry attitude throughout his long rehab.
Now the amiable ace is back outside - after months working in the gym - and is targeting an impressive 2014-15 campaign.
Bennett insists that the sight of Okore working with the coaches and physios on the training fields has brought extra positivity to Bodymoor Heath.
Bennett said: "Jores is just a really lovely guy. He gets on with everyone and he's always in a really good mood, always smiling and always positive.
"I have seen him around the place during his rehab and he's never looked miserable or despondent about the fact he's not playing. He's just got on with it and kept his spirits up.
"He's a really popular lad in the dressing room because of that upbeat attitude.
"It's a difficult time when you're not playing. It's never easy. We're professional footballers and when you're not available to play, it's a nightmare.
"But he's not let it get to him. Looking at the way he acts and the way he carries himself, you wouldn't think he was injured.
"It's great to see him back training outside again. It brings a smile to our faces seeing him right at the end of his long road.
"You don't want to see your team-mate out injured so we're all happy to see him nearing a return.
"The squad will definitely be stronger with him in it. He's a big lad, powerful, a leader and - from what we saw of him before his injury - he looked really good.
"It will be a big boost for the squad to have him back. He will be like a new signing."
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