Shane Duffy was delighted to return to first team action at the weekend with a 45-minute runout against Accrington Stanley.
The Republic of Ireland international hasn't featured for Rovers since suffering a knee ligament injury in training back in February which forced him to miss the remainder of the season.
So the giant defender was a welcome sight amongst the back four on Saturday, putting in a composed display as Rovers ran out 2-0 winners.
"I enjoyed it to be out there again, it has been a long five months but it is worth it now," said Duffy.
"It has been up and down for me. Mentally it was tough in the first few months just watching the lads knowing I couldn't do anything. Obviously the cup run at the end of the season I couldn't get involved in that so, mentally more than physically it has been tough but it's over now, I'm moving on and looking forward to it."
After rest and recuperation Duffy is now raring to go, but admits that he'll have a battle on his hands to earn a place in the starting XI come the opening day of the season against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
"I'm feeling the best I've felt since I've been here," added the defender. "So I'm ready to kick on now for the next season and hopefully push the lads for a place.
"I think probably the defensive position is the strongest in the squad. It is good, it is making everyone of us play better I think and whoever the manager picks we'll have to back them and I'm sure the rest will say the same.
"All I can do is my best and hopefully that is enough to get in the squad, but the competition is good."
Duffy is with the rest of the squad at their pre-season camp in Portugal. On their return Rovers' next pre-season match is against Rochdale on Tuesday 21st July - kick-off 7.45pm.
It is pay on the day at Spotland with admission prices of £10 Adults and £5 for Under-16s.