LEE Wallace has revealed how training with the Edinburgh amateur side he coaches in pre-season has helped improve his fitness.
The Rangers left-back missed the end of the 2013/14 campaign after suffering a hip injury in the Challenge Cup Final in April.
But the Scotland internationalist worked hard during the summer - including with Heriot Vale in the capital.
And he came through his first full match in nearly three months in the 2-1 win over Sacramento Republic at the weekend.
Wallace said: "I sit and remind myself I missed three weeks to a month at the end of last season so I suppose I've had to catch up a bit.
"I got myself going during our close-season break, though, and I was back in at the gym and also down at the local park with the amateur side I coach. I had a few sessions with them and found myself with the guys there getting myself ready for pre-season. It has been really good."
Speaking to the official Rangers website, he added: "This pre-season has been really tough. We've hit the ground running in terms of how intense it is.
"We will reap the benefits from that. It's good we are getting a lot of games in and getting different amounts of time on the park in each.
"It was good for me to get 90 minutes under my belt in Sacramento. It was my first full match since before the Raith Rovers game near the end of last season.
"Getting back to having to defend and the real-life situations you're going to face in the season is good."