Luka Milivojevic completed his first minutes of the pre-season today, coming on as a substitute for Crystal Palace in their draw with Brøndby IF.
The Palace midfielder played throughout the second-half and saw two long range efforts denied - the first flying just too high and the second well saved by Marvin Schwäbe.
He confirmed he was not available for selection in Palace's last three friendlies as he had to quarantine. Milivojevic had returned to Serbia in the pre-season break to see his family, and UK Government guidelines now require a two-week isolation period upon return from the country.
"I am somewhere like 10 days behind," he explained to Palace TV, discussing his fitness levels in comparison with his teammates'. "I didn’t play the first three games, as you know, because I’ve been in quarantine. That, at the moment, is the biggest problem for me.
"But I trained all this period, I tried to be fit and be in good condition. Today I played 45 minutes - I felt okay so I think that’s good and important for me.
"It’s always great to be back with the boys, trying to help in my first game of this pre-season."
But, though Milivojevic was largely positive about his return, he expressed frustration and not being able to defeat a challenging Brøndby side after creating so many chances.
He said: "I’m a little bit disappointed because I think we created more than enough to win today. We had a great run - three games in a row we won. I was thinking to help and finish this good run with a good victory. We created more than enough to win but we didn’t have luck, so it's a little bit disappointing. But the most important [game] will be next week."
Palace open their Premier League campaign with a home clash against Southampton on September 12th.