Baily Cargill's return at Hemel Hempstead Town was sprung upon him late in the day on Tuesday.
The 24-year-old had been out of action with an ankle injury since March, only recently returning to training with his team-mates.
And after a training session on Tuesday afternoon, the defender was told he would be making a 10 minute cameo at Vauxhall Road.
First team coach Mel Gwinnett said: "Ten minutes for Baily tonight was great, if a bit unexpected because we did drop it on him! We hope there's no reaction and it doesn't hinder his progress coming back.
"It's great to see Baily back, another quality player. With all the injuries we had, we missed Baily and it's great to see him. We just need Jordan Moore-Taylor back and we'll have or full compliment of centre halves again. It will be great."
Cargill struck up a good relationship with fellow left-sided defender Dean Lewington last season, and the skipper was also pleased to see the defender return.
"It was nice to see the Adonis back out there!" he said. "His return is a real boost, he was a major part of what we did last year. To have him back and as an option, back in the squad was a real boost."