Darren Fletcher has thanked the Manchester United staff and his family after making his first appearance of the season in the Under-21s' 2-2 draw with Fulham on Monday night.
The Scotland captain played 67 minutes at the AJ Bell Stadium as he continues to battle ulcerative colitis and targets a place in David Moyes' first-team plans.
"It's been a long time so it's good to get back tonight," Fletcher told MUTV. "I've been training for a few weeks now and the next progression is to get some match-time. I enjoyed it.
"The plan was to get to half-time and see how I felt. Then get to 60 minutes and take it from there and, although I felt I could have gone on a bit longer, the plan was not to play more than that so I'm better sticking to the plan and not upsetting the sports science lads.
"They've been great, especially the doc Steve McNally. He's worked closely with me, getting myself right and back and the support from the club has been fantastic - from Sir Alex Ferguson to the new manager and David Gill. Everyone at the club. I couldn't ask for anything better.
"It's been tough. Luckily, I've got a great family around me - my wife, children, mum, dad and sisters. It's a great family and, if it was not for them, I wouldn't be standing here today. They keep me going, keep me motivated and lift me when I'm down. All these factors contributed to me standing here today on the road to recovery."