Out for almost four months with a knee injury, Caolan Lavery is edging ever closer to a return to action.
The striker came through a Development Squad clash with Middlesbrough on Tuesday and says the aim now is to get his match sharpness back and recapture his impressive form from last season.
He told Wednesday Player: “I’m delighted. It’s been a long road but I’m just pleased to be back out there and able to play games.
“I got 70 minutes under my belt which was more than I expected so I’m happy with that.
“I’ll recover from the game and get myself ready for training on Thursday.”
Lavery – who burst onto the scene at Hillsborough last season – has marked the friendly game with Boro as a major point in his recovery.
“Games are what you look forward to when you’re injured.
“You set a date and look for the nearest match and hopefully you get through it unscathed and I did,” he said.
“I just need to get my sharpness back but I thought I did ok for my first game in over three months.
“I want to be back as soon as possible. I’ve got over the injury, I’m back training and playing games so it’s about showing the gaffer what I can do.”