The moment arrived 16 minutes into Pompey’s opening pre-season friendly at Cork.
Danny Rose was featuring in his first match for more than six months after suffering a broken leg against Northampton back in December.
So there might have been a few winces among the away support when the midfielder crunched into a tackle.
But the 30-year-old came out with the ball and feels it is important not to pull any punches now he has returned to fitness.
Rose said: “In a weird way it actually felt to me like those six months had just gone by in a flash.
“You can do all the training, but until you’re involved in a game it’s impossible to tell if you really are ready.
"I made it become a situation where I needed to go in for a tackle and thankfully I came out with the ball."
“The opportunity for that tackle just presented itself. I think I subconsciously slowed down a bit because I was favourite to get there first.
“But I made it become a situation where I needed to go in for a tackle and thankfully I came out with the ball.
“That thought of holding back never crossed my mind during the game or even during any of the full-blooded training sessions we’ve had so far.
“I’m still a bit rusty having been out for so long and hopefully I can get as many minutes as possible between now and the end of the season.
“There’s no doubt that I’ll get fitter, stronger and sharper the more matches I play and training sessions I’m involved in.
“You’ve got to do the right thing, though, and report it if you feel tight because you don’t want to pick up another injury.
“Sometimes when you’ve had a long-term injury it can be easy to pick up niggles in other parts of the body. I’ll try my best to steer clear of that.”
Pompey’s squad have been back in training for just over a week, but Rose has not had much time to relax over the summer.
He explained: “In terms of timing, if you’re going to have an injury like I did then I pretty much got it spot on.
“If we’d made the play-offs then I perhaps would have made a squad or two, but instead I had the whole off-season to make sure I was up to speed.
“I was in three or four times a week as soon as the season finished and then came in again following a family holiday.
“Even though the recovery period required a lot of hard work, I hadn’t had to deal with those day-to-day challenges on the training pitch. That’s why it was so important.
“So I haven’t had too much of a break, although a bit of downtime is important for anyone to recharge the batteries a bit.”
Rose will be looking to start the season in Pompey’s engine room, but has to compete with Ben Close, Dion Donohue, Adam May and Tom Naylor.
He said: “The gaffer’s identified that as an area we need to strengthen and brought in Tom, whose experience of playing in League Two, League One and the Championship could be vital for us.
“It’s an old cliché, but competition brings the best out of everybody and I know that if I don’t do the business, then I’ll find myself on the bench or in the stands.
“We’ve got pretty much the same squad as last season and made some quality additions to that as well.
“There were some areas where we were lacking and we still went close, so there’s no reason why we can’t do better this time around.”