The injury looked set to rule the striker out of the entire group campaign but he defied the medics by returning almost a month ahead of schedule.
The 28-year-old made his full debut in the Champions League proper on Tuesday night and his determination to contribute to the cause saw him net twice in a 3-3 draw at FC Twente.
Defoe revealed afterwards just how "frustrating" being sidelined had been but claimed he was now feeling stronger than ever.
"I did my rehab, didn't cut any corners, worked really hard to get myself back," said Defoe, who admitted he needed more games to build up his match fitness after completing what was his first 90 minutes since August.
"I really should've been out three months but I put all the work in so nailed it down to two.
"I wanted to come back and feel strong; I didn't want to rush it and then you come back and you break down again.
"I feel a lot stronger than I was before."