Tottenham defender Jonathan Woodgate made his long-awaited comeback from injury today by helping a Spurs XI thrash QPR 9-2 in a training-ground friendly, as Jamie O'Hara also returned from a lengthy spell out.
Woodgate's career appeared under real threat earlier this season when manager Harry Redknapp revealed he was in the last-chance saloon regarding the treatment of his groin problem.
But the injury-plagued centre-back, who has been out for 14 months, began to show real signs of improvement and took a huge stride forward today by completing 45 minutes, three days short of his 31st birthday.
"Woody was outstanding,'' technical co-ordinator Tim Sherwood told Spurs' official website. "He's not played for such a long time, but it was as if he'd never been away.''
Redknapp was forced to omit Woodgate from his 25-man squad for the first half of the Premier League season but may decide to include him when he resubmits it when the transfer window closes.
Midfielder O'Hara also played the first half today, having returned from the back injury which has kept him out since the summer.
The 24-year-old's Spurs future is less certain, with O'Hara having spent last season on loan at Portsmouth.
He has repeatedly been linked with a move to West Ham and will struggle to break into a Tottenham side which already boasted an embarrassment of riches in midfield ahead of the expected signing of Steven Pienaar.