Jonathan Vilma has said that he has been "pleasantly surprised" by his conditioning after returning to practice following a knee injury.
The New Orleans Saints linebacker practised on Monday for the first time since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his knee during the pre-season.
The 31-year-old told the team's official website: "Felt good. I was pleasantly surprised by my conditioning, by the way my knee held up. I was very optimistic about it.
"I thought that I practised well [Monday], coaches said I looked good when I was running around. The big thing is now, after two or three or four days of practice, how's it going to hold up? We'll see how it holds up after that.
"I still love to play. I still think I'm capable of playing and it'll really be my knee telling me yes or no, after five days of practice, after a week of practice, two weeks before a game, see how I feel."
Vilma made 37 tackles, a sack and an interception last season.