An injury he’s never had before made for an exasperating start to Nicky Clark’s Dundee United career.
But, having recovered, the Championship goal machine is ready to show Arabs and new manager Robbie Neilson exactly what he can do.
The 27-year-old’s sub appearances at Ayr and Partick in the last two weeks marked his first top-team involvement since being sidelined by an Achilles problem back in August.
That left him delighted, firstly just at being back and then, more importantly, to be part of last week’s classy win at Firhill.
He said: “It was a frustrating few weeks for me. I’d picked up an injury I’d never had before, a bit of tendonitis in my Achilles which was really annoying.
“There’s not much you can do about it, to be honest, you just have to wait for it to clear.
“I was able to play through it for a wee while but it was getting progressively worse and it came to the point where I couldn’t.
“It was at a time of the season when you really want to be playing and stamping your authority, especially at a new club.
“I wasn’t able to do that but I was delighted to be back involved last Saturday.”
And even though his involvement saw him spend most of his time helping the Tangerines hold their lead over the Jags rather than do what he’s best known for and get into the opposition box, he was happy with his contribution.
“The manager said to all of us when we were going on to show a reaction, help the boys who’d been playing for the majority of the game and I think myself, Craig Curran and big Adam Barton did that.
“I thought Adam did particularly well because he took a bit of stick from the Thistle fans because he’s played there but he blanked that out and showed his class.”
United dominated most of the proceedings last week and Clark believes that was largely down to a tactical tweak made by the new manager.
It’s one, he believes, will reap further rewards over the course of the season.
“It was a very good performance with and without the ball, but especially without it because of the high pressing we did.
“We stopped them from being able to play and we showed how dangerous we can be if we win the ball back quickly.
“If we get the ball off teams in the final third, with the players we have, it can be massive.
“We can go and definitely hurt teams. The manager put that across to us before the game and we did it well.”
His boss expressing his desire to eventually go with two strikers in most games was also music to the ears of a man who averaged a goal every two games in the league during the last couple of seasons at Dunfermline.
“As a striker, you want to go out and play all the time and, if the manager wants to play two up front it suits the three of us (himself, Curran and Pavol Safranko), to be honest.
“We’ve spoken to the manager about it and we’re all happy with his ideas which are to get the ball in the box and score goals.
“As strikers that’s what you thrive on and, hopefully, it all goes to plan.”
Now, back training normally, he feels ready to start as Inverness Caley Thistle come calling today.
“Inverness have been going well and they’re up above us in the league just now, so it’s a massive game for us to go and win – show what we’re all about.
“We’ve let ourselves down recently with a few results and it’s down to us as players to now go and prove people wrong who’ve been doubting us.
“Today gives us the chance to do that.”