Gregg Smith feared he may never play football again after suffering an horrific ankle injury on New Year’s Day.
But six months later the talismanic forward was back in action, welcomed to the pitch by warm applause as United earned a 1-1 pre-season draw with National League Barrow.
And after making his emotional return, the fans’ favourite was full of praise for the support he has received from the club.
“After snapping my ankle it was a worry whether I was going to play or even walk again, there were that many complications,” said Smith, who fractured his ankle after landing awkwardly challenging for a header in the Pilgrims’ 2-1 league win at Gainsborough Trinity.
“But the physio team, the gaffer, the club and everyone involved - it’s been really overwhelming how well they’ve looked after me.
“I can’t thank the club itself, and anyone round football enough.”
Smith played the final 10 minutes of the game, and admits there is still plenty of work to be done before he is back to his best.
“I’m still off 90 minutes,” he added.
“The gaffer’s managed everything through pre-season.
“I’ve got to take my time, bide my time and make sure I’m right to get out for 90 minutes.
“Come the start of the season I want to be 100 per cent fit.”