Winger Matty Blair described the moment he entered the field of play this afternnon as 'emotional' as the wingman returned to action after an eight month lay-off.
Blair sustained a cruciate knee ligament injury after falling awkwardly in February in a match at Carlisle United on only his third appearance for the club and has been out ever since.
The 27-year-old was introduced to the action in the 79th minute by Stags' manager Adam Murray in a goalless draw against Plymouth Argyle this afternoon.
"It's been a long hard seven months but it's great to get my first 11 minutes under the belt and I look forward to Tuesday now," the former Fleetwood Town man said
"It was an emotional moment for me, it's more mental rather than physical but I've got to thank everybody, my friends and family, they've been a big help for me.
"As the game went on I was wondering if I was going to get a chance and get to come on because the game was so balanced, but the gaffer showed faith in me."
Despite an all-action 11-minute showing in an entertaining affair against the Pilgrims, the Warwick-born player has hinted that he won't be back to peak fitness for a few weeks yet.
"I'm still three or four games away from full match fitness but training wise I've looked good, I've looked fit and strong.
"The target for me is to break back into the first team starting but that won't be happening any time soon. A couple of bench appearances, a couple of games in the week just to get that match sharpness back and then I want to be a big part of this first team."
The tricky flank-player says that he feels even stronger physically on his return to action for the Stags after such a long spell on the sidelines, which has helped him strengthen in areas he's needed to.
"I feel strong. [My legs] have actually got a bit of muscle on them now, my cousin told me the other day my legs are quite big. I'm getting better and hopefully I've still got my pace, and they should be stronger.
"I didn't really do any gym work before the injury but I've been hard at it," he added.
To watch the interview in full, log into Stags Player [www.player.mansfieldtown.net]