Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon admitted it was “pretty special” to get back out on the pitch for Hearts for the first time since his double leg break almost 10 months ago.
The 40-year-old’s career appeared to be in jeopardy when he sustained the horror injury in Premiership match away to Dundee United on Christmas Eve last year.
However, Gordon always maintained he would not throw in the towel in his bid to play again. After making a remarkable recovery, he was delighted to get his first proper run-out for the Jambos when he came on for the second half of a closed-doors bounce game against Spartans at Tynecastle on Thursday.
“It’s nine and a half months now since that day I broke my leg, so it’s been a long time coming,” he told Hearts TV.
“It’s been difficult at different periods of rehab but it’s great to get back out there, especially the first game back here at Tynecastle.
“I know there were no fans there but to get back out on that pitch is pretty special, always.
“Being in the changing room, getting changed and going back out onto a stadium pitch is what I’ve been wanting to do to get back to that level and this was the first stage.
“To get back out and play 45 minutes in the second half was just great. To be out there feeling the positions and being in the right place at the right time. Getting all those little things back embedded into my mind, it was great to be part of it.”
Gordon’s outing on Thursday counted as a notable landmark at the end of a “hard spell” in his career, and now he aims to take things a step further by forcing his way back into contention for a first-team return in the weeks and months ahead.
“It’s been the end of quite a hard spell for me – going back into the training and finishing it off with a game, so it’s been a tough few weeks on the training pitch and getting back used to that,” said Gordon, who had accumulated 74 Scotland caps before his injury.
“I’ll take a couple of days to recover from that and come back next week and go again and try to push for more minutes on that pitch.”
STV News is now on WhatsApp
Get all the latest news from around the countryFollow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp
Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country