Corry Evans marked his return to first-team action with a goal in Blackburn Rovers' 3-1 Championship victory over Bristol City at the weekend.
It was the 29-year-old’s first outing since he suffered a fractured skull and eye-socket in a game against Preston North End back in January and he admitted it was a relief to get back on the pitch.
“Personally, it felt really good, after the injury I’ve had it was nice to be back on a football pitch," the midfielder told Rovers' website.
“It’s been a tough few months for everyone, but it’s probably helped me a little bit because it’s given me that bit more time to focus and to get fitter and stronger.
“I’ve used it in a positive way and have felt the benefits of that. Hopefully, it will stand me in good stead going forward.”
It’s been a tough few months for everyone, but it’s probably helped me a little bit because it’s given me that bit more time to focus and to get fitter and stronger
Evans’ goal was his first for the club in nearly three years and just his fifth since his arrival at Ewood Park from Hull City in 2013.
“I think my last goal was against Coventry in the League Cup a few years ago,” recalled Evans, who also provided an assist for Rovers third on Saturday. “But my last league goal was against Sheffield Wednesday under Paul Lambert.
“The goal was a cross and I didn’t really see it go in, I was shocked when the lads all turned and came running towards me.”
Also popping up with an assist on Saturday was winger Shane Ferguson, whose cross set up Matt Smith’s 18th-minute opener for Millwall, though they eventually went down 3-2 to Wayne Rooney’s Derby County at the New Den.
Elsewhere in the Championship Paddy McNair, Jordan Thompson and Stuart Dallas all started for their respective clubs while Josh Magennis was used from the bench by Hull City as was 20-year-old Birmingham City midfielder Caolan Boyd-Munce.
Meanwhile in the Premier League, Jamal Lewis was used as a makeshift central defender as Norwich City who remained bottom of the table following their 3-0 home defeat to Southampton.
Leicester City had Jonny Evans in their starting line-up as they drew 1-1 at Vicarage Road against Watford for whom Craig Cathcart was an unused substitute.