Ashes hero Simon Jones has described being back in international contention as "a great feeling" - after being named in England's 30-man provisional ICC Champions Trophy squad.
Worcestershire paceman Jones has not played for England since a chain of injuries linking back to the penultimate match of the 2-1 Test victory over Australia in 2005.
Having battled back from a career-threatening knee problem, however, the 29-year-old is on course for one of cricket's great comebacks at the ICC event scheduled for September in Pakistan.
He has already courageously overcome a six-month hiatus with a ruptured cruciate ligament at the start of his England career, and national selector Geoff Miller spoke encouragingly of a return to Test contention.
"It's such a great feeling," said Jones, who has thrived since a winter switch from Glamorgan to Worcestershire. "I've worked hard all season really, so it is nice to know the selectors have taken some notice.
"On your bad days, you do think slightly negatively sometimes but the way the season started and the new lease of life I have had at Worcester has really got me going into my cricket again.
"My lowest point was probably last year when things were going wrong. I had worked so hard to get where I needed to be and you do start doubting yourself then.
"But things have clicked for me, so I am not going to dwell on what's gone, just look forward now, as I believe I am somewhere near my best."
That was undoubtedly during that 2005 campaign when Jones' ability to reverse swing the ball allied to natural pace accounted for 18 Australian wickets at 21 runs apiece before he broke down, halfway through the penultimate match.
Having formed a revered 'fab four' with Andrew Flintoff, Steve Harmison and Matthew Hoggard during that summer, Jones has been consigned to the role of frustrated spectator since as first those three and more recently a new-look attack have carried English victory hopes.
"It is very hard but sport is a cruel thing sometimes," said Jones, who has played just 18 Tests since a debut six years ago. "You have to keep positive in your own mind, keep your head down and keep working hard.
"There is always somebody knocking on the door and competition keeps you sharp. People might say not many keep on coming back but it is what I want to do with my life, I want to play cricket at the highest level."
Jones' only setback in 2008 came when a bouncer from Warwickshire's Neil Carter clocked him and left him nursing a whiplash injury, and he puts down his improved physical condition to a change of emphasis in his run-up.
Gone is the stuttering approach preceding an explosion into the crease, replaced by a smoother journey into delivery which has taken strain off the body.
"The last couple of years have been a bit of a write-off, I wasn't quite ready last year," Jones added. "Physically, I wasn't fit for the demands of cricket but this year I have felt strong and the ball has been coming out really well as well.
"You do your weight sessions and try to keep yourself in the best nick you can.
"But the one thing I have done differently this year is run a lot more, got my body used to the pounding of running and I feel a lot better for it."
Miller and fellow selectors Ashley Giles and James Whitaker have monitored Jones stringently amid concerns that his 26 wickets at just 12.53 apiece have been cheapened by the fact they have been taken in the second tier of the LV County Championship.
And they have been heartened enough to consider him for future Test squads.
"If he keeps performing like he's been performing then, yes, he has a chance," Miller said, after announcing the enlarged one-day party at Lord's. "Obviously, there is the pace angle. What he could do with the reverse swing, if he starts to perform like he performed in the Ashes, we have got something special there.".