Stephen Kelly revealed his delighted over receiving and early recall last week after recovering from another injury setback.
The Republic of Ireland under-21 skipper got the nod at right back to play against Brighton in the FA Cup following a knee injury sustained in his last outing against Manchester City.
It was his third injury since pre-season - after also suffering with his ankle ligaments and a broken thumb - and he now hopes to remain fit and produce a sustained challenge for a first team place.
"It was great, I only started training back with the team on the Thursday and then found out on the Saturday that I was going to be playing - which was excellent," reflected Stephen this week.
"To get straight back in the team and get going again was a little bit of a shock, but it was great to get back.
"In my whole career up to this season I have never really been injured or missed games. To have three back to back has been unfortunate and a shock to the system when you are not used to it.
"They have all come in first team games and it has been unbelievable. Three times I have got in hoping to put a run of games together and got injured. Now, being a new year, I hope to stay fit and will try and get a few games under my belt.
"I was delighted to get through the Brighton game and felt really fit. I had done a lot of work with Alex (fitness coach) and felt good."
He faces a fight for a defensive spot on the right, with Noe Pamarot and Philip Ifil also in the mix. Steo feels that last season's clutch of games have given him the confidence to be up for the challenge.
"It is a matter of trying to stay fit and get games. Then, if I do well, you never know and I might keep my place. We'll have to see what happens in the next few weeks and months.
"Last season was brilliant, it gave me the confidence to believe I can play at this level. When you get back into the team you know you have done it before and can do it again - that has been a great help for me."