Danny O'Donnell made his return for Shrewsbury's reserves on Wednesday as they went down 4-3 at Accrington.
The defender, a summer signing having been released by Crewe, started the season as first-choice centre-half alongside Ian Sharps but has not played since the 1-1 draw at home to Aldershot on August 21 due to a hernia problem.
O'Donnell was forced to undergo surgery to rectify the matter and has been out for around a month.
But he made his comeback with a starting berth on an otherwise disappointing evening for Town's reserves as they gave themselves a mountain to climb against Stanley by conceding four first-half goals.
A second-half brace from Tom Bradshaw and one from Lewis Neal came close to levelling matters but ultimately proved not enough.