Wales full-back Sam Ricketts was "delighted" to make his international comeback in Wednesday's 1-0 loss to Costa Rica.
The Bolton defender had not played for his country in just over a year after suffering a serious Achilles injury, but he came off the bench in the second half of the friendly at Cardiff City Stadium.
While it was a sombre night for all involved as Wales played their first match since the death of manager Gary Speed, Ricketts' return was at least one crumb of comfort for the home team.
"I am delighted to be back in the fold, I've been to all the Wales games while I have been out so I have been around the squad but you can't beat playing," he said.
Ricketts, who did not play under Speed, hopes new manager Chris Coleman can ensure that Wales continue the success they experienced under their former boss.
Their next fixture is against Mexico in May, one of only two friendlies they have scheduled before beginning their qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup.
"This has been a difficult time," the former Hull City player added. "This was the first time we have been together and it was a chance to mourn together and pay tribute to Gary. The fans who turned up were fantastic but it was a horrible occasion.
"Chris is similar in stature to Gary, they were highly respected in the game and hopefully he can carry on the philosophy and we can do well in the qualifiers."