Steve Sidwell is back in contention for a starting role at Aston Villa after shaking off a knock.
The midfielder has been sidelined since picking up an Achilles injury during a pre-season friendly against Valencia at the beginning of August.
He is, however, now back in the frame after coming through a 90-minute run-out for the club's reserves in a 4-0 victory over Blackpool.
Sidwell admits he is not yet fully match sharp, but hopes he will be pushing for a first-team return by the time Villa head to Stoke on Monday.
"It was tiring, first and foremost, but it was nice to be out there - it has been a frustrating few weeks," he told the Birmingham Mail after making his return to action.
"The first one back is the hardest thing and games are what you need.
"This was the first one back and I'll just knuckle down in training now and see where it goes.
"I had it in my mind before the game that I was going to do as much as I can and try the full 90 minutes and I felt fine.
"It took me a while to get into the game obviously, having had a few weeks out, but as it went on, the stronger I felt.
"I am the world's worst at watching games. Watching games as a footballer, you just want to be out there.
"There have been a few games that I have missed, a few highs and lows, but I just want to get back out there."