Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack made his first appearance in seven months in a reserve team clash on Monday.
The Germany international played for 45 minutes as the Blues' second string entertained Birmingham City reserves at Brentford's Griffin Park.
Ballack has been sidelined since April and has undergone two operations on his injured ankle.
"It's my first 45 minutes for a long time," the 31-year-old told Chelsea TV.
"I feel good. It's a long time to wait because of injury so I'm happy to be back.
"You are a little bit careful. I'll train next week and see how it is, then maybe have another game in the reserves.
"I'm looking forward to playing in the first team."