Brandon Channell played his first full 90 minutes since early February in the 3-3 draw with Watford on Saturday.
The centre-back overcame tricky conditions in the friendly draw at Canford Arena, coming out of the match without any fresh concerns.
The teenager had stepped up his comeback with a 20 minute and then a 30 minute showing as he completes his rehabilitation from a cartilage tear that required surgery to his hip earlier in the year.
Coming through the 90 minutes
"It was good to get the full 90 minutes," Channell told afcb.co.uk. "They were tough conditions for my full comeback but I was happy overall with how I played. The hip feels good now, I feel confident when running, I'm feeling no problems with it.
"It was tough to begin with, you have to trust in yourself, have trust in my hip and that I wasn't going to do any more damage. But I think now I'm confident and I can just go from here now.
"That first 20 minutes coming back got any sort of rust out of the system and I felt ready today."
Covid and the comeback
Channell's injury came in the FA Youth Cup clash with Millwall in February, with the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic creating it's own challenges, physically and mentally, for the young player.
"I was out for so long and Covid didn't help either," he said. "Waiting to more recently to come back, trying to get back into the team.
"When we did come back in the summer it was tough, all the lads were back out there together and I was just coming back from an operation, but it's good now.
"It hasn't been easy but having the comeback in my mind was definitely something that I needed to make sure that I was focused on and that I looked after myself for."
Maintaining the self-belief
"I had to believe in myself and knowing that when I came back I would have a point to prove and that there is so much on the line for me with my career.
"I've had my family to support me, as well as the physios who have done very well to help me through it all, that's made for a great team altogether to give me that support I've needed.
"I've got to keep building, take that 90 minutes against Watford and keep going forwards, not taking any steps back."