It's been a bumpy road back to full fitness for Joe Grayson, but he marked his return to action in style for the Development Squad against Leicester City on Monday night.
Grayson's been out with injuries for the last 12 months, but appeared for the final half an hour against the Foxes, replacing Daniel Ayala in defence at Leyland.
And it didn't take him long to get his name on the scoresheet, not that he knew too much about the opener in the drizzle.
Harry Chapman's corner was volleyed goalwards by Lewis Thompson, and took the slightest touch off the defender to nestle into the back of the net.
Grayson's claimed it and has been awarded it, with his goal just nine minutes after coming on being the catalyst for a rout, with a Connor McBride brace and Luke Brennan's late finish sealing an emphatic 4-0 mauling.
“It was great to get back out there and I think it’s a year to the day since I’ve been out of action for," Grayson reflected after the game.
“It’s been a long road and there have been some disappointments along the way, but I’ve worked hard, kept my head down and managed to get back out there.
“It was a hamstring injury that kept me sidelined for eight or nine months and then a groin injury that I’ve had for six weeks or so.
“It was frustrating to pick that up, but it was about reacting in the right way straight away.
“I was back training for a week in pre-season before it happened.
“When we’ve all been locked in at home, all we were dreaming about was getting back out on the grass. To be out back on the pitch with the lads, all together, it’s a big thing.
“Putting in performances like we did tonight makes it all worthwhile."
Grayson was in and around Tony Mowbray's first team thinking before the setback struck, and is now eager to make up for lost time and get back into the manager's thoughts sooner rather than later.
“It was bad timing because I was getting a good pre-season under my belt and was in and around the first team," he explained.
“I’m a year behind now, but you can’t look back, it’s about getting back in and around the first team again as soon as I can."