Sir Alex Ferguson was delighted to see Darren Fletcher back in a Manchester United shirt on Tuesday, but continues to adopt a cautious approach over his fitness.
Scotland skipper Fletcher made his first appearance since 22nd November 2011 during a benefit match for Aberdeen legend Neil Simpson.
A chronic inflammatory bowel condition has kept him sidelined and threatened to end his playing career.
He was, however, able to join the action at a packed Pittodrie as a second half substitute.
Fletcher came through the final 30 minutes unscathed, as United slipped to a 2-1 defeat.
Ferguson admitted afterwards that a late decision was taken on the 28-year-old's involvement, but he was only too happy to offer the midfielder a route back into the first-team fold.
The Old Trafford boss will, however, not be rushing Fletcher back into competitive action as United ready themselves for the start of the new Premier League season.
Ferguson told MUTV: "It's been quiet progress for the boy.
"He joined in training a couple of weeks ago and it's one of those situations where you say: 'Let's see how he does because he has had a really difficult time in the last year'.
"Therefore, I wasn't really placing too much hope in it but let's see how he does.
"He's got to the stage now where he feels he needs a game. I let him join Scotland this week but he wanted a game so I said: 'Come to Aberdeen and join up afterwards'.
"I'll give him 20 to 25 minutes."