Gary Hooper made a scoring return to duty this week with the Under-23s – and is now targeting a route back to the first team.
The Wednesday striker bagged a brace against Barnsley after a frustrating spell on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.
Now, with some valuable game time under the belt, Hooper cuts a relieved figure.
He said: “It felt good to be back on the pitch and playing again. I was pleased to get on the scoresheet. I’m just trying to get my sharpness back.
“It has been a tough period. This has been the longest I’ve been out with an injury in my career. It has not been easy dealing with that.
“I’ve been training with the physio and the team a few times but I needed some game time.
“I’m happy with what I got out of the development match. I played nearly an hour so hopefully that will help me get my sharpness back.”
Having missed the Owls’ last nine games, the 28-year-old is keen to make up for lost time.
Whether Saturday’s derby with fellow play-off occupants Huddersfield comes too soon remains to be seen, but Hooper acknowledged the importance of the Championship clash.
He added: “Huddersfield is a big game. They are up there in the play-offs but we know we can beat anyone in the league.
“I think we are playing well. Everybody is trying to score but it is a collective effort. We have to keep going and working hard on improving things in training.
“We have defended well and are not conceding many goals.
“We showed how well we can play at Newcastle. It was an unbelievable result and it was great the skipper popped up with the goal.
“We need to take that level of performance into the Huddersfield game.”