Elliott arrived at Craven Cottage in January 2006 but made just 12 appearances before being ruled out for the rest of the season with a calf problem.
The New Zealand international, 33, remained sidelined for the whole of last term with an Achilles injury and was not given a squad number for the 2007-08 campaign.
"It's important that we don't put too much pressure on Simon because he puts enough pressure on himself," said McKinlay.
"The period of time he's been out for means that it's going to take a number of games to get match fit and ready to go.
"It's important that we take the pressure off him. He's a good boy and is very harsh on himself so we're really, really pleased with him.
"He's had a lot of frustrating times and I don't think I've seen anybody in my time in the game work as hard and as long as he's worked over the past 18 months."
New Fulham signings Eddie Johnson and Toni Kallio also featured for the entire 90 minutes last night as they seek to regain match fitness.