You couldn’t keep the smile off Bradley Dack’s face as his 330-day wait to pull on a Rovers shirt again ended with a behind closed doors game with Sheffield United.

Dack played the first half of the 2-2 draw, with match minutes the final stage of his rehabilitation process having been out since December 2019 with an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury.

Next on the agenda will be minutes for the Under-23s who have two games next week, as Dack pushes towards a return to first-team action.

Rovers arranged the game with the Blades with a view to getting Dack valuable game-time, with Stewart Downing, Amari’i Bell, Barry Douglas and Sam Gallagher among the other first-team players to feature in the Brockhall friendly.

The game ended 2-2, with John Buckley and Jalil Saadi on target for the hosts, but it was Dack’s return that was the headline news.

For the man himself, he was just delighted to be back playing, and to come through unscathed, 11 months on from the injury for which he underwent surgery.

The Blades didn’t hold back in the way his team-mates might have in the time he’s been back in training, with one particularly hefty challenge coming his way in the first half.

Speaking to the club website after the final whistle, Dack said: “I felt really good to be back out there after this long period of time out. It feels like it’s been a long time coming.

“It was really nice to be back out there and I had a smile on my face.

“I’ve been training for the last couple of weeks now and getting my body ready.

“I woke up with the same feeling I’d have on a Saturday at three o’clock, it was really exciting.

“The whole build-up I did as I would normally do and thankfully I came through it okay.

“It felt completely right. I feel like I’ve not been able to do my job right for the last 11 months.

“It was like a first day back at work almost getting back out there again playing against players who aren’t in your team.

“You can do as much training as you want but it doesn’t quite replicate a matchday.

“It felt back to normal and I really enjoyed it.”