It's certainly been a long wait to see Elliott Bennett back out on the pitch in Rovers colours.
It's been a tough last few months for the club captain, who's been forced to watch on from the sidelines after picking up an ankle injury in training back in October 2020.
Bennett's been a regular feature in the team since arriving at Ewood Park from Norwich City five years ago, and the injury frustration is now over for the 32-year-old, who came through the first half of the Under-23s' draw with Manchester City unscathed on Monday night.
It was in fact the experienced midfielder who started the move that led to the opening goal of the encounter, and Billy Barr was impressed with Bennett's first action since September.
“For his first 45 minutes in a long time, I thought he was really good," Barr admitted after the 1-1 draw against the Citizens.
“The biggest part of it all for me is that he’s got a voice.
“Even at half time, it’s his voice that’s there when we go in.
“My challenge to the group was that he was coming off and we needed someone to replace him as the leader, to take charge.
“He’s a top professional and he’s had a really good career because of his professionalism and being a top person.
“If we have him again next week then that will be great.”