New Aprilia signing Marco Melandri continues to recover from ankle surgery as the Italian star builds towards a three-day test at Portimao from January 18-20.

Melandri underwent an operation on his right ankle at the end of November following the final test of 2013 at Jerez.

"I'm quite good at the moment, even though I need some more time to fully recover," said the 31-year-old.

"I still don't have complete mobility of the ankle but yesterday I managed to move the foot sideways for the first time since I underwent surgery.

"I got a ligament reconstructed in the external malleolus and because of that I could only flex my foot up and down," he added.

"I hope to improve in the next two weeks in order to have a decent mobility for the first test of the year. Once on the bike I will have a better idea of my conditions and I'm sure the work on track will help my recovery."

Melandri, who joins Sylvain Guintoli at Aprilia, said he remains 'very confident' of making more solid progress at the upcoming test in Portugal.

"We'll be testing at Portimao on 18-19-20 January. During the break I kept in touch with the team and the goal for this first outing will be to keep evaluating what we have to find the right direction of development and to further improve our RSV4," he told the official World Superbike website.

"I'm very confident because we did a great work before the testing ban, we tried both chassis and worked on some adjustments to suit my riding style.

"We will continue this way at Portimao, then on February we will do some fine-tuning of our package."

The compulsory winter testing bans ends on January 15.