The talented striker's prolonged absence was due to a broken bone in the hand that took longer than expected to heal. During that time he has worked hard in the gym - a fitness regime not comparable to a highly-competitive 90 minutes for the reserves.
"It was nine weeks and, although I kept myself fit, I am obviously not match fit," considered Lee. "I can feel it in my legs and am a bit sore, but I enjoyed it.
"I doubt I'll be able to walk in the morning so I'll go in and have a massage and hopefully I'll be alright."
During his spell on the sidelines Lee has seen fellow under-19 players Dean Marney and Jamie Slabber pushed on to the first team squad, which, while pleased for his teammates, can only have added to the frustrations of inactivity.
"It has," he admitted. "Obviously it is good to see that they are pushing youngsters through but I want that to be me. When you are injured you can't show what you can do and it is frustrating.
"You never know, I'm hoping it will be me soon and I'll keep plugging away. The aim to play well for the rest of the season and see what happens from there."
Lee Barnard conceded that walking will not be the most comfortable experience today after playing his first game for nine weeks for the reserves against Watford.