Newcastle defender Mike Williamson made his return from an ankle injury with a 45-minute outing in the reserves 1-1 draw with Bolton.
The former Watford man has been out since suffering the setback in the Carling Cup clash with Scunthorpe in August, and his comeback is a boost for manager Alan Pardew, who was forced to press Danny Simpson and James Perch into emergency centre-half action in the 4-2 defeat at Norwich.
Williamson told his club`s official website, www.nufc.co.uk: "I feel completely fine. That was the plan - to play 45, to get myself back in and try and get the cobwebs out and then train on Thursday and Friday."
He added: "It reminded me of what I've been missing. It was good and I enjoyed it. It was great to get the boots back on and now that I'm back, hopefully I can just get fitter.
"Injuries are frustrating but it's just part and parcel of football. It has been really good to see the team doing so well and enjoying the plaudits that they deserve for working so hard."
But the 28-year-old says he will not be rushing his recovery despite Newcastle having Steven Taylor ruled out for the season and Fabricio Coloccini struggling with a thigh problem.
He said: "I'll accelerate it as quickly as possible, but not to the detriment of anything.
"But my knee and ankle are completely fine now, so it's just about getting the minutes under my belt and as much fitness and running as I can."