Mike Williamson was delighted to return to action for Newcastle at the weekend.
The 28-year-old played his first game in four months as he helped the Magpies to victory at Bolton on Boxing Day.
With Steven Taylor sidelined for the season with an Achilles problem, Williamson could not get an extended run.
"It's been a while. It's been very frustrating, but very nice to come back, and with a clean sheet and a win, so it couldn't be better," he said.
"At the time (I suffered the injury) I was trying to run it off and I didn't know what I'd done because it was a strange twist with my knee and my ankle. But the next day I realised the length of time it was going to be.
"It's one of those things in football, an occupational hazard.
Fitter and stronger
"It's been a long time to reflect, but I've done a lot of good rehab', the medical team have worked me hard and I feel good.
"The last week of my rehab' was accelerated somewhat. My thoughts go out to Steven, who's done very well. I'm sure he'll come back fitter and stronger."
The signing of former Wycombe and Torquay player Williamson from Portsmouth in January 2010 was typical of Newcastle's more low-key approach to recruitment in recent years.
The defender had never played in the Premier League prior to the Magpies' promotion that season, but he found his feet quickly and is looking forward to another run of games.
He said: "I've had a good period in the team and it's just unfortunate I've had a couple of injuries.
"It would be nice now to stay injury-free and concentrate on putting in some good performances."