ALMOST a year to the day, Danny Edwards suffered a knee injury that threatened to end his Worcester City career.
The 30-year-old left-sided player sustained cruciate ligament damage twisting awkwardly during the 1-0 defeat at Corby Town on March 30, 2013.
That was his last action of a season which had seen him make 23 appearances for the club, scoring two goals, and he subsequently underwent surgery.
Yet Edwards remained registered to the Skrill North club who stood by their man in a bid to get him fit and playing again.
It has been a long road to recovery for the 30-year-old but on Tuesday night the culmination of months of hard work came to fruition as he once again pulled on the blue and white of City.
Edwards played the last 20 minutes as a replacement for Danny Williams in the 2-0 Worcestershire FA Senior Cup semi-final at Redditch United.
For the former Stafford Rangers winger it would have been a huge step, not least in trusting the knee to hold up to the rigours of competitive football.
In such recoveries, breaking mental barriers is half the battle - just ask someone like centre-half Shabir Khan, himself having fought back from a similar knee injury.
Manager Carl Heeley said: "I am delighted to see Danny back on a pitch, he's worked very hard as you have to do after injuries like that.
"Danny got injured playing for us and I thought the least we could so was try to give him some support and keep him involved around the squad because it was the right thing to do. It's so much easier doing your rehab around other players.
"It didn't really matter how he played, it was about getting over that psychological barrier."
Although it is early days in Edwards' return, Heeley has not ruled out more chances for him to prove himself in the weeks ahead.
The former Stafford Rangers player would no doubt be welcomed back into the fold with open arms.
Edwards, who also made 34 appearances for City during the 2011-12 campaign, is well liked around the club, not least for his jovial character and tag as "joker" when he has travelled on the team coach.
But, ultimately, it is his playing skills that he will be judged on and Tuesday's cameo was a major step in the right direction.
Heeley continued: "If he can get back to the player he was prior to the injury then the door will be open for him to prove his fitness until the end of the season and into the next pre-season."