Socceroo Robbie Kruse admits he was careful but felt good upon his return to competitive action last night after seven months out with a knee injury.
Kruse returned to the park for Bayer Leverkusen as a 79th minute substitute in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Alemannia Aachen as part of the club’s pre-season.
“It felt good,” Kruse told the Leverkusen website.
“Of course, I was careful but it was a good first step.”
Kruse is aiming to be part of Australia’s 2015 Asian Cup squad after missing the 2014 World Cup due to the injury.
The 25-year-old attacking midfielder emerged as a crucial part of Australia’s squad during 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.
The reigning Australian Footballer of the Year returned to first-team training earlier this month in a major milestone in his recovery from the anterior cruciate ligament injury suffered in January.
“He has been working hard on his comeback over the past few months,” read the Leverkusen website earlier this month.
“Robbie Kruse’s return to the training ground marks another important step on the road to full recovery.”