Steven Reid was delighted to come through his comeback game for Blackburn Rovers reserves unscathed yesterday.
The midfielder has been out for over a year with back and knee problems and played a part in Rovers' 5-0 defeat of Sunderland. He told the Lancashire Evening Telegraph: "I was a little bit controlled out there, feeling my way in a little bit, but it was nice to get plenty of touches of the ball.
"I'd like to say it would be next week but I've still got quite a bit of work to do on my hamstring - a bit of strength work - but after that it actually feels like you're a footballer again and I can see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.
"I didn't sleep the last couple of nights - I've been this close before to playing; I didn't train today just in case anything happened. It's just a big relief.
"Earlier on in the day I was wishing it was the day after, but to play an hour, I feel brilliant."
He added: "It's been an unbelievable year really. It's made me so much more mentally stronger and it makes you realise what's important and how important playing football is.
"I've just missed a season and I'm not going to pass up the opportunity to train every day and play every game international wise and for the club - I just want to play as long as I can now.
"Hopefully these injuries will make me a stronger player."