With the exception of two starts at the end of last season, the midfielder has been out for over a year with knee, groin and Achilles problems.
Now he's back in the reserve squad for tomorrow night's FA Premier Reserve League encounter against West Ham at Upton Park.
Joining him are Gus Poyet and Steve Carr as, thankfully, the treatment room starts to clear.
But, as Steve points out, with the lads doing so well in the injured players' absence, it won't be a case of walking straight back into the side.
He said: "The lads have done brilliant, fifth in the table and we've had a lot of players out, a lot of key players like Darren, Gus and Stephen Carr.
"We've got to set a target of getting into Europe and the more players we get back, the better it is for the team.
"That will be great for the manager as well and hopefully in a few weeks time there will be players disappointed not because they are injured, but because they are not in the team.
"It will be difficult to get back in anyway because they've done so well and we'll all be fighting for a place."
Having fought back from injury, Steve Clemence reckons the hard work is just about to begin - to gain a place in the team.