Jonny Williams was in a buoyant mood after completing 80 minutes during Sunderland under-23s’ 3-1 defeat to Arsenal on Sunday.
The Welshman made his comeback after a two-month stint on the sidelines that included shoulder surgery following an awkward fall in a 2-2 draw with Millwall.
On loan from Crystal Palace, the 24-year-old is no stranger to Chris Coleman despite his lack of playing time since the manager’s arrival, having played a role in Wales’ memorable Euro 2016 exploits.
And speaking to safc.com, the midfielder admitted it feels good to be back.
“It was good to get a run out and I took a few knocks but jumped straight back up, so that’s probably the main thing for me today.
“I got through about 80 minutes and I’m happy, as I felt sharp on the ball and I’m fit so I’ll hopefully be ready to play a part between now and the end of the season when the manager calls upon me.”
He continued: “I don’t know why I [jumped up with a smile on my faces after falling on my shoulder in the second half], but you can only do so much in the gym and to do it in a game situation gives me that 100% confidence that it has healed.
“I was looking to come back in April so to be in contention for next Saturday would be fantastic.
“I think we’ll aim for then [rather than Tuesday] as that was the original plan for me at the start of the injury, so I’ve ticked everything off for the last stages to prepare for then and get myself right.
“I remember looking at the plan when I was about two weeks into my recovery and I just didn’t think it was going to be possible – I had a similar injury last year and it took around three months – but he physios have worked hard on me every day and so has the fitness coach.
“I’m delighted to be back in training because there’s been a lot of one-to-one running, so during the last ten days or so I’ve never been so happy to join back in with training because the ball is in sight.
“Playing football is what I want to do.”