The defensive midfielder traded West Bromwich Albion for the East Midlands during the summer following a successful loan spell towards the end of last season.
However, he was dealt a cruel blow during pre-season as he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and was subsequently ruled out for nine months.
Fortunately for the player and the club, rehabilitation seems to have gone well and Thorne returned to full training last month and well ahead of schedule.
Boss Steve McClaren was reluctant to use him earlier, but after a number of outings for the U-21 side he decided that the 22-year-old was ready and unleashed him on the Owls yesterday.
In a topsy-turvy encounter, the visitors twice went ahead but the Rams under McClaren have built up a never-say-die attitude and following relentless pressure a late Darren Bent penalty sealed a 3-2 win.
The victory takes the Ipro Stadium outfit to the top of the Championship table, and to see Thorne back up and running rounded off an excellent day for McClaren’s side.
Here’s how Derby fans, fellow teammates and Thorne himself reacted on Twitter to the midfielder's return to action:
Delighted to be back & a big win to top it off. Grateful for the support! On to Tuesday...— George Thorne (@GeorgeThorne15) febrero 21, 2015
Great to see the brother @GeorgeThorne15 back on the pitch after a long time out— Cyrus Christie (@cyruschristie) febrero 21, 2015
Great to see @GeorgeThorne15 start today for the 1st team. He's worked extremely hard + shown great professionalism over the last 7 months!— Shaun Barker (@barks5) febrero 21, 2015
I was so proud today seeing my number one apprentice @GeorgeThorne15 back out on the pitch. Great determination to come back so soon.— John Eustace (@J_Eustace14) febrero 21, 2015
A seriously unfit George Thorne is twice the player Mascarell is #dcfc— James Gibson (@jamesgibson08) febrero 21, 2015