Lee Barnard made a welcome return to reserve team action on Tuesday evening against West Ham, bringing to an end a frustrating period for the young striker.
The 20-year-old fractured his collar bone in the third game of the training trip to Sweden back in July and was forced to miss the remainder of pre-season and the reserve opener at Fulham just over two weeks ago.
"I broke my collar bone out in Sweden and have been out for six weeks so it was nice to be back," reported the Academy product.
"It was painful, in the first week I was in a real lot of pain but, after that, it got better and better and the pain wore off.
"It had to heal itself, they gave me a shoulder brace to stretch it out so the bones didn't overlap and then it just needed time."
For last season's reserve top goalscorer, who netted our first of the pre-season campaign out in Sweden, his frustration must have been compounded during the remainder of the preparation period as he saw Jacques Santini struggle for striking options with Robbie Keane suffering an ankle injury and Fredi Kanoute returning late after illness.
In all probability he would have got quite a few games and the chance to impress the new management.
"Obviously you never know because I was injured. I thought I did okay out in Sweden and would have hoped to be around the squad - so it was disappointing for me to get injured.
"It would have been nice to have got a good pre-season under my belt and mine was interrupted, now I've just got to work extra hard to get back playing regularly.
"When I first heard I'd broken my collar bone I thought I'd be out for longer, but it's been a speedy recovery and I've only missed one reserve game. It was nice to get 90 minutes under my belt against West Ham.
"I was a bit surprised to start, I thought I'd be on the bench. We had a good team out and I thought we played well."
NEXT RESERVE FIXTURE: Southampton v Spurs - August 7.