Nottingham Forest manager Stuart Pearce says that Kelvin Wilson looked immobile over pre-season.
The centre-back has forced his way back into the Forest first-team with a number of eye-catching displays now, but it has been a remarkable improvement according to his manager.
Pearce revealed today that Wilson had looked to be struggling after returning from injury in pre-season, but he has made huge strides since.
"In pre-season, he looked very immobile, if I am honest," he admitted to the Nottingham Post. "The injuries had caught up with him a little bit. There was a lack of fitness.
"But he has improved with every game, he has really impressed me. He has been a real bonus for us.
"I think he is a leader in the group and I have been impressed."
Wilson is now a permanent member of Pearce's side and he will be hoping to retain his position in the starting line-up as the season progresses.
The centre-back is unquestionably talented, but he has struggled with injury throughout his career and he will now be determined to stay off the treatment table.
If he can then he is sure to play a major part in the club's season as they chase a place in the top two.
The Reds are unbeaten over the campaign so far, with their sturdy backline playing a crucial role in the side's success.
Wilson's form has been so good that he is keeping out Jamaal Lascelles, a youngster tipped for great things and already snapped up by Newcastle United, and Pearce feels that is testament to the 29-year-old's ability.
"The incredible thing is that we have Lascelles, who has been brought by Newcastle, who cannot get in the side," the Forest boss said.
"It must be a touch frustrating for him. But, if you are sat on the bench, you have to accept, looking at things, that you have to wait for your chance.
"He knows his chance will come, there is no doubt about that.
"But the form of Michael Mancienne and Wilson now, along with Jack Hobbs, has been sensational, really."