Southampton and England forward Jay Rodriguez has confirmed that he played an hour for the Saints' Under-21s side on Monday as he nears a comeback from injury after five months out.
The 26-year-old has not played since mid-October after undergoing foot surgery, but was fit enough to play the majority of the development squad clash against Middlesbrough.
The former Burnley man has had a torrid time at St. Mary's over the last 18 months or so after netting 17 goals in 2013-14 before injuring his anterior cruciate ligament two years ago.
That blow caused Rodriguez to miss the entirety of last season, and after eventually recovering he played just 12 times, scoring three goals, in the current campaign before picking up the latest problem.
However, he has now confirmed that a return to fitness could be on the cards sooner rather than later, tweeting: "60 mins into the tank today! Can't wait to be back playing now."
Although he is surely certain to miss out on a place in the Euro 2016 squad, the striker will be hoping that his return may come in time to at least enter Roy Hodgson's consideration.
Rodriguez has earned just a single senior cap for his country to date, in November 2013 against Chile, but at 26 will feel he has plenty of time to force his way back into the reckoning for further appearances if he can recapture his form and fitness of two years ago.
In the meantime, Southampton supporters were delighted to see him nearing a return to first-team club action after he established himself as a fan favourite prior to his initial injury absence.
@JayRodriguez9 Can't question your commitment. Keep digging lad. I hope we can get you banging goals in for us for seasons to come.— Simon Thompson (@MrSimonThompson) March 14, 2016
@JayRodriguez9 Fantastic news Jay for you the club and us fans— Arthur Cogger (@ArthurCogger) March 14, 2016