Manchester United captain Gary Neville made his longest competitive outing since being injured nearly a year ago in a reserve team match on Wednesday.
Neville is back training with the first-team squad as he regains fitness
The full-back's 73 minutes in the 1-0 defeat by Sunderland marks his latest stride towards a first-team return.
Neville, 33, has been battling a succession of ankle and groin problems.
"It's great to be playing football again," Neville told MUTV. "That's my second game in a couple of weeks and I seem to have come through it okay."
Neville even had a chance to notch a rare goal but was thwarted from close range by Black Cats goalkeeper Marton Fulop.
"Playing with the reserves is really exciting for me. Just being out on the pitch and on the training ground, I love doing that," he said.
"Hopefully I've seen the back of it now. I just need to concentrate on training hard and playing well.
"It's been a frustrating period and a very long time - too long. No footballer likes not playing.
"I am not the first footballer to be out for 12 months. You just have to get on with it.
"By next week I'd like to be involved with the first team, even if it's just travelling with the side and being part of it again."
Neville, who has made over 500 appearances for United, suffered ankle ligament damage just 11 minutes into the match against Bolton at Old Trafford in March 2007.
Since then he has not played first-team football and has made a number of comebacks since, only to suffer further setbacks.
The defender has been training with the first-team squad for nearly a month.