Defender Mathias Kouo-Doumbe played 90 minutes in Tuesday afternoon’s behind closed doors match with Brighton & Hove Albion, for the first time since pre-season.
Kouo-Doumbe, who picked up an injury during the friendly with Kettering Town, has resumed training but has been limited to appearances due to the recent impressive performances from the Dons’ defenders.
The experienced Frenchman’s only competitive appearance this year came in the 4-1 victory over Bury last month, when he came on in place of the injured Jon Otsemobor.
However, the Drancy-born defender has not featured since and so was delighted to get a run-out at stadiummk earlier this week, helping the Dons to a 2-1 victory over the Seagulls.
Speaking to mkdons.com, he said: “It was really good to feature in the game as I haven’t played for a long time, except for the 45 minutes against Bury.
“I was really excited before the game as I couldn’t wait to get back playing again and in the end it was an interesting match.
“They were a good, young opposition that handled the ball the ball really well so it was a good test.
“Obviously it’s more light-hearted than a normal game and so I was having a laugh with the referee which I wouldn’t normally do but I still think people took it quite seriously which is important.”
It’s been a similar story over the past two seasons for Kouo-Doumbe, after the former-PSG trainee missed two months at the start of last term because of injury and was limited to 23 appearances throughout 2011/12.
And the powerful defender admitted it has been a testing time over in the last couple of years but remains eager to prove his worth when given the chance this season.
“It’s been frustrating for a while now. I was disappointed to get injured during pre-season but that’s part of football and it’s important you get your head right when you’re injured and try and recover as quickly as possible.
“Sometimes, though, there’s not much you can really do but I’ve always put my head down and worked hard with the physios and I’ve now been back in training for a few weeks.
“I’m just waiting for my chance. It’s good to know that under Karl you’ll keep your place if you’re playing well so it’s really important I take my opportunity when it comes.”
Kouo-Doumbe and the Dons now look ahead to Sunday’s clash with Preston North End with exciting match-up being shown live on Sky Sports at 1.15pm.
And the 6ft 1in centre-half revealed that everyone in the camp is feeling fresh and ready ahead of the meeting with Graham Westley's Lilywhites.
“Everybody’s looking forward to the game. We were all a bit disappointed after the performance on Saturday and obviously we had a lot of games leading up to it but after this long week everyone has recharged their batteries and we’re more than ready for Sunday.
“We know where we want to be and having lost a couple of points we shouldn't have at the start of the season we now need to catch up with the teams above us.
“It’s not just about the points though, we also want to keep performing and playing well and I’m sure then the results will follow.”