JEREMY Pied declared himself satisfied with a return to competitive action this week.
The right back played just over an hour for Saints’ under-23s in their 2-2 draw with Liverpool on Monday night.
The Frenchman, who signed on a free from Nice last summer, has been missing since August, having suffered a serious knee injury in training.
The 28-year-old has appeared on the bench this month against Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and West Brom, but has not come on.
Now, after seven months out, he has finally got some minutes under his belt.
“For me personally it was a good 60 minutes and I felt good,” Pied reflected.
Pied made his competitive debut against Watford on the opening day of this season, playing 11 second half minutes. But he was then struck down by a cruciate injury in training.
Pied is hoping to get more minutes in Saints’ two remaining under-23 games - against Derby at Staplewood on April 21 and at Manchester City on May 5.
Once he is fully fit again, boss Claude Puel will face a dilemma.
At present Puel has three senior right backs - Pied, Cedric Soares and Cuco Martina.
The latter is expected to leave this summer, though, when his contract expires. Martina has already been linked again with a move to rejoin Ronald Koeman at Goodison Park, with Seamus Coleman a long-term absentee with a broken leg.
Puel must then weigh up whether Pied - who he has a long association with - or Cedric will be his first choice.
Puel handed Pied his debut at Lyon in 2010 and then took him to Nice two years later. Last summer he signed him for a second time.