Cape Town - Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland is delighted to have returned to action after spending the last four months on the sidelines with an ankle injury.
Butland missed the most of the second half of last season as well as the European Championship after fracturing his ankle while on international duty with England in March.
The 23-year-old shot stopper played the first half of Stoke's 3-0 win over Burtom Albion in a pre-season friendly on Saturday afternoon.
"I'm really pleased to be back and get some minutes under my belt," he told the club's official website.
"From a mental point of view as well, the last time I was on pitch I broke my ankle, so to get through that and feel what it's like to be back on the pitch is really good.
"I felt good, I felt strong and my ankle feels really good as well which is really positive. Initially after the operation I wasn't doing a lot.
"I concentrated on getting the swelling down and getting the movement back and over the summer. I came in two weeks early and there was always someone from the medical team on hand to help me through stuff.
"They've ultimately got me back to where I am, which is fit and playing with no pain, so a lot of credit has to got to them."