Tottenham Hotspur captain Michael Dawson was delighted to make a return to action in the FA Cup on Saturday.
The former Nottingham Forest starlet has been out of action since August at White Hart Lane, with the centre back suffering a serious Achilles injury during the opening month of the campaign.
But, after a four month absence, Dawson featured for 88 minutes in the 3-0 win over Cheltenham Town in the third round of the competition, and is ready for the Barclays Premier League battles ahead.
"It was great to be out there playing again. There is no better feeling than walking out at White Hart Lane," he told the official Spurs website.
"Four months in the gym is certainly not what you want but it happens in football and speak to any player, that’s the down side. When you do get back out there playing again it's a great reward for that hard work."
His return comes at a great time for manager Harry Redknapp, who revealed over the weekend that former captain Ledley King will be out of action for around six weeks with a hamstring problem.
Strength-in-depth could prove to be key in the coming months as Tottenham test their title credentials, but the England international is happy to go straight back into action if required by his manager.
"I was out for three months last year and I then went out to play lots of games so it's not the first time this has happened," added the defender.
"Injuries are hard and when you come back you need to come back and perform at the best of your ability and do what you can and I will always back myself to do that.
"I didn't feel any reaction to the injury (on Saturday). I feel good. You need squads because injuries will come along and everyone has to be ready. It was nice to get the game out of the way and I will go in to training this week looking forward to it.'