Ahead of his long-awaited return to international football, Southampton and England goalkeeper Fraser Forster has expressed his delight at being given a chance on the main stage once more, the Daily Star can report.

It is quite a big scar. The operation is a bit gruesome but that’s part of it. I was fortunate to have a great surgeon and I can’t thank him enough for what he did. I never once thought it was going to threaten my career. It was just a case of trying to do all the right things after I got injured and come back in the best shape that I could.

Forster will be looking to start one of, if not both, England’s upcoming two international friendlies that will be used as warm-up matches ahead of Euro 2016 this summer. They will face Germany at the Olympiastadion on Saturday evening, before hosting the Netherlands at Wembley on Tuesday night.

I think the toughest days are the days from doing the injury to then actually having the surgery. Once you’ve had the surgery then you’re healing, so even if you are sitting at home on the sofa doing nothing, at least you’re sitting there thinking it’s all part of the process.

I came back a little bit quicker than predicted and that’s just credit to the surgeon first and foremost, he did a great job, then we’ve got a fantastic medical staff down at Southampton. It was a new injury for them to deal with but I think everyone embraced the challenge and saw it as a fantastic opportunity.

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The six-foot-seven goalkeeper has made the perfect return to action since successfully completing his recovery from a serious long-term knee injury, with the memory of his first six games back between the posts being ones to remember, as the 27-year-old kept six clean sheets in as many games.

I saw it as a chance to come back fitter and stronger than I’d ever been before.

Now, with Forster feeling fitter and stronger than ever, he will look to stake his claim for the England number one spot heading into the summer’s competition.

You have the opportunity to spend hours and hours and hours in the gym and doing a lot of leg weights. Probably leg weight wise I’ll be stronger than I’ve ever been and my legs will be bigger than they’ve ever been. I think my last bench press was 120 kilos. And leg press, at one stage we got to 200 kilos on one leg.

I remember the day I couldn’t even do it with any weight on.

Can Forster beat Jack Butland and Joe Hart to be Roy Hodgson’s first choice goalkeeper at Euro 2016?