A hamstring injury had kept him sidelined since Boxing Day.
So Nathan Thompson was pleased to be back on the Fratton Park turf for Pompey’s League One clash with Doncaster.
The right-back played the entirety of the 1-1 draw, having missed nine matches during a hectic period.
And he was relieved that there were no ill effects from his long-awaited return to action against Rovers.
Thompson said: “It’s been frustrating to sit in the stands and watch the boys, especially when they haven’t been picking up wins.
“The five weeks that I’ve been out for has felt like a long time and there have been a lot of games in there.
"You can go through all the tests and rehab, but there’s always that psychological doubt, so I was pleased to come through unscathed."
“Not being able to help out on the pitch has been really difficult, so it felt good to be out there for 90 minutes again.
“My body felt really strong and then suddenly the hamstring just seemed to give up on me – until you play a full game then you’re never quite if it’s going to be okay.
“You can go through all the tests and rehab, but there’s always that psychological doubt, so I was pleased to come through unscathed.”
Pompey had to fight from behind to claim a point against Doncaster, with Omar Bogle cancelling out Mallik Wilks’ opener on his home debut.
Thompson said: “It stops the rot after three league defeats on the bounce, but we felt there were times we could have nicked it.
“Having said that, Craig MacGillivray’s made two great saves in the second half, so a draw probably is the fair result.
“Now it’s about galvanising everyone and once we pick up three points, I’m sure it will breed confidence in the squad.”