No-one expected to see Luke Berry back in action for a long time after his serious ankle injury at the end of March, but the midfielder took to the pitch in the final minutes of the 1-0 defeat at the Hawthorns on Tuesday, much to the pleasure of the 1,100-plus away supporters.
It was 137 days since the 26-year-old was stretchered off at Colchester, but after working hard over the summer with club physio Simon Parsell, he is way ahead of schedule in his recovery.
Speaking to iFollow Hatters after the game, Berry said: “It’s been the gaffer, it’s been Simon the physio, it’s not just me – I have just been doing what they have told me to do. Chris Phillips and Darren Cook as well, everyone has played their part. Everyone from them to the chairman.
"It’s not really been that hard, I have just done what I have been told really. That’s the main thing.
“I have been training and everything, but at the end of the day I want to be pushing to be involved, I was happy to come on, but I have only just started the journey back really. I want to keep progressing, that’s the main thing."
It is coming up to the one-year anniversary of the midfielder's arrival from Cambridge United, and by the time he celebrates that milestone on August 25th, Berry hopes to be closer to full fitness in order to impact on the Town's League One campaign.
“I am ahead of schedule, but I am way off where I want to be," he said. "I want to be fitter, I want to do more running, I am not match fit yet and that’s frustrating for me. I want to be match fit and I want to be helping the boys out.”
A lot has been made of his positive attitude throughout the process – the initial diagnosis would have seen him out of the first team picture for at least three more months, but from day one, he was committed to ensuring he was back playing as quickly as possible.
“It was a bit of a shock because it was facing the wrong way,” Luke said of when he first injured his ankle. “I was holding it up because I didn’t want to put it down. I was just lying on the pitch for ages!
“Since day one when I got injured, the support I’ve received from supporters has been quite overwhelming really. I had tweets, I had cards. I have never experienced anything like that. It was surreal and that really helped me, it made me want to get back and get them cheering again, to help get us up the league.”