Billy Mckay feels he is returning to the Premiership in the best shape since he rattled in 59 goals in 117 games for Caley Thistle.
The Ross County striker enjoyed a rampant two-and-a-half seasons under Terry Butcher and John Hughes at Inverness before a big-money move to Wigan Athletic in January 2015.
He fell out of favour with the Latics, then hit a difficult spell in his career with relegations and niggling injuries during loan spells at Dundee United and Caley Thistle.
A third relegation season at Ross County compounded the misery, but Mckay – finally free of a troublesome groin issue – bounced back spectacularly in last season’s Championship title race.
While he hit 20 goals up until February’s season-ending broken arm, the 30-year-old past Northern Ireland international insists he has it all to do to win back his place.
But he believes he is heading back to the top-flight in the best physical and mental state since those Inverness days.
Mckay said: “When I joined Ross County in the Premiership a couple of years ago, I signed injured.
“It took me a while to get over my groin injury.
“I’m now coming back into the top flight fully fit and injury-free and I’m raring to go – I can’t wait.
“Missing out from February with the broken arm has made me all the more hungry to get back out on the pitch.
“I’ve come back in good shape and I’m looking forward to the first friendly this weekend. In my most prolific years, I’ve always had a good pre-season.
“Last year was an unbelievable one for the club and all the lads. I really enjoyed it – the dressing room is a massive part of that.
“I’ve probably had that only once before in my career, at Inverness five or six years ago. It’s a similar feeling here at County.
“The lads all get on brilliantly and there are no cliques or divides, which is really important.
“The managers have shown their faith in me and backed me. I’m really grateful to them for that and I want to keep showing them what I can do.”
Mckay still harbours international ambitions, but insists there is no point thinking of Northern Ireland until he proves himself again in the top flight.
He stressed: “Obviously, if my performances are there and I’m scoring, I’m sure it might happen.
“But first I have to get myself back in the Ross County side as we have a lot of competition here in the striker’s area.
“When I do that, I’ve got to make sure I stay in it.
“I can only do that through performances so, first and foremost, I’m thinking about Ross County.”