After nearly a year on the treatment table with injury, long-serving Spireite Drew Talbot was on the bench at Coventry City and hopes to make the jump back to the pitch soon.
Speaking after the game - and after a rigorous on-pitch session with fitness coach Shane Nicholson - Tablot explained how he worked towards a spot with the substitutes.
"It's massive," said Talbot. "Apart from Fleetwood at the end of last season it's near on a year since I've played.
"I've trained for three or four days solid and the gaffer thought that Boxing Day might be a bit soon but I got the nod today and it's a great little Christmas present and a long time coming but I'm on the first team ladder again now and hopefully working my way back up to make the team again at some point."
Talbot originally hoped to be back long before Christmas but his return was delayed after the 28 year-old felt discomfort during a routine training session.
The full back explained the initial worry that came with the setback and the process he went through to overcome it.
"I had trained for three games and then a movement that you'd do in a game triggered something off. We saw a specialist and he was at a bit of a loss, he thought it might be some scar tissue or some fibres that were caught, so we let in settle down and since then it's been great.
"We went to see him again a couple of weeks ago and my strength was really good. I've managed to train a couple of days, put the setback behind me and I'm back in the fold again."
With the match at the Ricoh Arena finely poised at 0-0, Talbot revealed that manager Paul Cook had given him the nod to warm up and prepare to come on during the second half.
He said: "He told me with about half an hour to go and I thought 'You've got to be kidding me?' He told me before the game that he'd want to put me on and I told him I'm ready and I'd give whatever I've got.
"It didn't happen today but there are plenty of games to come and the lads did great today. If I'd been thrown on I'd have been chuffed to bits but I'm still happy."
After such a long spell away from the team Talbot explained that at his lowest he considered that his future may have needed to lie away from the game.
"I thought about it," said Talbot. "When I had the setback that's the lowest I've been in a long time. We actually thought that if the adductor had come out again with the anchor I don't know if I'd have had the operation.
"We'll have probably looked at something else, trying to get myself back so I could function but maybe not play football - that's how serious is was.
"I've had a good support team with Rodger [Wylde], Shinner [Shane Nicholson] and my family. I'm a bit of a fighter, I don't like to give up, and it's been tough, but days like today at a great ground like this rekindles that fire a bit, I can't wait to be back."