Josip Drmic is delighted to be back and scoring for Borussia Mönchengladbach, but the striker knows the hard slog of his return to full fitness is not yet at an end.
A serious knee cartilage problem cut short his 2015/16 loan spell to Hamburger SV, and meant Drmic did not return to the pitch until the dying seconds of Gladbach's 1-0 win over 1. FSV Mainz 05 on 11 December.
Two cameo appearances totalling 23 minutes followed before the Hinrunde ended.
The Foals' winter training camp in Marbella has afforded Drmic the opportunity to work on his fitness and sharpness, and the Switzerland international was rewarded with a goal in Tuesday's win over Belgian side Zulte Waregem.
"I was really happy about it. It was an important and special goal for me and a great feeling after such a difficult time," said Drmic, who struck before Jannik Vestergaard claimed a late winner in a 2-1 Gladbach victory.
"I'm happy, but I know there is some work ahead of me. I still have to do a lot for my knee. That was the hardest 70 minutes I've ever played."
Watch: See Drmic's only Bundesliga goal for Gladbach so far in a 3-3 thriller.
Dieter Hecking's men, who defeated Würzburger Kickers 2-0 in their other friendly match in Spain, will jet back to Germany on Wednesday to fine-tune preparations for their return to Bundesliga action at SV Darmstadt 98 on 21 January, a game in which Drmic will hope to feature.