I'm delighted to say that I'm back in full training and hope to be involved at Norwich on Saturday. I thought I would be out for about seven weeks, but it's just about three weeks now and I'm happy to be back.
After not playing for West Ham the weekend before, I played two quick games for Wales. We had a tough game on the Friday night against Macedonia and then a game in Belgium on the Tuesday and unfortunately I pulled my hamstring. Maybe it was too much work, or perhaps just old age!
They thought it would be seven weeks, but the staff here have done great and got me back in three. Obviously it's disappointing circumstances for me to come back with Winston Reid getting injured at a time when he is playing so well, but we had clean sheets when I was playing earlier in the season and hopefully we can continue our form. I am happy to get my place back, but it's tinged with a bit of sadness on Reidy's side.
We do a lot of work on the defensive side of the game. The Gaffer works hard on it on the training pitch and that's how we start every game - we know if we don't concede we're not going to lose the game. Whoever fills in, in the centre or in the full-back positions, we know have a solid base to keep a clean sheet.
We've got a great record away from home at the minute - we've only conceded one penalty away to Hull - so we'll be looking to keep a clean sheet again. Hopefully we can pop up and score at the other end and I can chip in as well.
Last season at Norwich we kept a clean sheet and nicked a nil-nil. I conceded a free-kick that was VERY close to being a penalty, but thankfully it wasn't and we defended well. We'll have to do that again on Saturday and hopefully we can nick a couple of goals.
I don't think it matters how Norwich got on last week. I have been on the end of an 8-1 defeat at Chelsea when I was at Aston Villa and we went out the next week and probably played the best we had all year. On other occasions, we've been thrashed and played twice as bad the following game. You can't really say how the match will pan out. We've just got to go there, defend well and create chances and score goals.
Our last victory at Norwich was in January 2006 in the FA Cup third round and I remember it well. I played against my old Cardiff team-mate Peter Thorne, who was playing up front for them, and it was a tough game. It's always a hard one up at Norwich because their fans are passionate about their club and about their local community. It's always a good atmosphere there, too.
Talking of good atmospheres, I watched my old team Cardiff's win over Swansea last Sunday and it was great. It was a tense game and the rivalry is massive down there, but I think the best team won on the day.
I hope to be returning to Cardiff myself next weekend when Wales take on Finland in a friendly. Me and the manager Chris Coleman sorted out our differences and I played in the last two World Cup qualifiers and I hope to be in the squad again and help my country.
This will be our first international following Craig Bellamy's retirement and it will be a bit strange. I was with him a lot on our last trip to Belgium and he has been around the Welsh set-up for as long as I've been playing. It will be strange, but Bellars said himself that his retirement gives another youngster a chance to come in and do well. He's got to look after his body as he becomes an old man, but it gives someone else a chance.
Two of our younger players, Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, are doing great. it speaks for itself, the way Gareth has gone to Real Madrid for a record fee and he has done well, setting up and scoring goals. Aaron has been the player of the season by far this year so far. They're both great lads and have stayed grounded. They have family back in Wales and go back there, which I think helps them off the pitch. If they can perform anywhere near the way they have for their clubs for Wales, then we have a bright future.
Just before I go, I want to mention my proud record of identifying the various types of fish served in the canteen! I do like my food so I tend to get the chefs to quiz me now and then. I try to cook as much as I can at home, even though the wife usually tries to dissuade me! I take an interest in the kitchen and my signature dishes are usually fish, but I'll have a go at whatever I can rustle up.
Myself and a few of the boys have opened a restaurant in Chelmsford called 59 New Street and I hope to do some cooking in there before Christmas, so watch this space! Tim De'Ath, our old chef and current player liaison officer and England team chef, has devised the menu there and we often go there with our families to eat and the food is great. Hopefully a few West Ham fans can come down and eat there, too!
Have a great weekend,