Plymouth Argyle left-back Robbie Williams has admitted a stomach injury kept him out of action for a lot longer than he expected.
Williams made his comeback, after an absence of more than two months, in the Devon derby against Exeter City at St James' Park last Saturday.
The 28-year-old was a half-time substitute for the Pilgrims, allowing Onismor Bhasera to move into a midfield role.
Williams said: "It has been a frustrating time, where I'm sat there watching the boys. I'm just glad to get back involved.
"I had a stomach strain but it never got any better so I had to go and see a specialist in London. I had an injection and let it settle down.
"Touch wood, I'm pain-free at the minute and, hopefully, it can be pain-free over Christmas."
Williams had been struggling with the problem for some time but, after playing in the 2-1 home defeat by AFC Wimbledon on October 6, he could not continue doing so.
"It got to a point where I was in too much pain to carry on so I had to have something done about it," said Williams.
"It just took a lot longer than I thought but I'm back now and, hopefully, I can get myself in the team and kick on."
Argyle were losing 1-0 at the interval against Exeter and a mistake from Williams almost led to them falling further behind in the 48th minute.
Williams headed the ball inside and it was easily intercepted by Jamie Cureton.
Fortunately for Williams and the Pilgrims, Cureton sent the ball high and wide of the left post with only goalkeeper Rene Gilmartin to beat.
Williams said: "I was pleased to be involved against Exeter. It was a big game and we got a good result. We could have gone on and won it in the second half."
As for the incident when his header set up Cureton, the left-back added: "It was a massive relief when he missed.
"The ball was in the air for a long time and I thought I would head it back but he [Cureton] likes to have a little dart and he was there waiting for it.
"I put it on a plate for him but, luckily, he missed."
Williams thought Argyle were the "dominant force" in the second half, especially after strikers Nick Chadwick and Warren Feeney were sent on as 66th-minute substitutes.
He said: "When we changed it around and brought Chaddy and Feeno I thought we looked strong. They were holding the ball up and bringing in the midfielders. It looked good in the second half so let's see what happens over Christmas."
Argyle's away game against Accrington Stanley today is the first of five npower League Two fixtures in 15 days. Williams admitted it would be an important period for the 20th-placed Pilgrims, who have picked up four points from their last two matches.
Argyle beat York City 2-0 at Home Park on December 8 before drawing the Devon derby away to Exeter.
Williams said: "We have got five games in two weeks and if we can get more wins than losses then we will be in mid-table. Then, after Christmas, hopefully we can have a push. There is only Wottsie [midfielder Paul Wotton] now who is injured.
"Get Wottsie back in and everybody is fit, and I think we have got a good chance because we have got a strong squad."
Plymouth Argyle (from): Gilmartin, Cole; Berry, Nelson, Purse, Bhasera, Williams, Lowry, Hourihane, Molesley, Young, Lennox, Gurrieri, Cowan-Hall, Feeney, Chadwick, Griffiths, Lecointe, Richards, Harvey, Sims.
Doubtful: Molesley (hamstring).
Unavailable: Blanchard (suspended), Wotton (back).