Yeovil Town midfielder Kevin Dawson admits he did not know if he would play again after missing more than 12 months of action through injury.
The 25-year-old returned on Tuesday for the first time since sustaining a hip injury against Manchester United in the FA Cup third round last year.
"There was a time when I was worried I would not get back on the pitch but thankfully it's all behind me," Dawson told BBC Radio Bristol.
"It's great to finally be back."
After undergoing an operation on his hip, the former Shelbourne midfielder was then troubled by groin injuries.
He came on as an 87th-minute substitute in the FA Cup third-round replay against Carlisle which the Glovers eventually lost on penalties.
"I have had a couple of operations and it was nice to finally be back out there," added Dawson.
"There was a stage where actually was struggling quite a bit mentally but all the staff here have been great with me."
Dawson played a key role in Yeovil's promotion to the Championship in 2013 but has watched them slip to 23rd in League Two from the sidelines.
"Not being able to help with the relegation last year was difficult but we are moving in a different direction now," said Dawson.
Yeovil host Crawley on Saturday in search of consecutive home wins in the league for the first time this season.
Dawson's team-mate Simon Gillett, who has also been injured since the Manchester United defeat, could make his long-awaited return for Darren Way's side.
"We have both been out since the United game but we have helped each other throughout," Dawson added. "He can be a massive player for us."
"They are a good few points above us but if we can get a couple of back-to-back wins we can try and drag a few teams in."