Midfielder Mario Goetze admitted he was delighted to score Borussia Dortmund's winning goal in their 2-1 victory over Werder Bremen on Friday as the 50th season of the Bundesliga kicked-off.
The 20-year-old suffered with a persistent groin problem last season which kept him out of football from December until May, when he was involved in the last three games as Dortmund won the league title.
He was restricted to just one appearance off the bench for Germany at Euro 2012, but having slotted home the 81st-minute winner on Friday, just three minutes after coming on, Goetze was on cloud nine.
"It has been a long time for me, so it was hard," said the midfielder, who can expect a Germany call-up for the opening World Cup qualifier against minnows the Faroe Islands on Friday September 7.
"The trainer said to give my all in the last 15 minutes, and I did.
"The injury is completely gone and I am really happy about that."
Dortmund and Bremen had contested the first Bundesliga match back in 1963 and it was the same pair who started the 2012/13 season on Friday night at Borussia's sold-out Signal Iduna Park Stadium in front of 80,645 spectators.
New signings opened the scoring for both clubs as Marco Reus netted in the first-half for Dortmund, while Bremen's Czech Republic defender Theodor Gebre Selassie headed the equaliser 15 minutes from time before Goetze's winner.
"There is no question Mario will make a full comeback," said Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp with Borussia at Nuremberg next Saturday before the international break.
"We have the game against Nuremberg next week then there is the international break, after that he will be there in full."
Klopp was happy with the defending champions' performance as they stretched their unbeaten league run to 29 matches, just seven short of Hamburg's record from 1983, having last lost in the Bundesliga nearly a year ago.
"We started well, but things got more difficult for us after we took the lead," said Klopp.
"We knew things wouldn't just happen on their own and we had plenty to do.
"I was happy with a few things, not so with a few others.
"We hadn't had a really competitive game for 14 weeks and you could see it.
"So from that point of view, I am happy."
Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf was not impressed with his team's performance, especially after their shock 4-2 extra-time defeat at minnows Preussen Muenster in the first round of the German Cup last weekend.
"We were nice guests and we left the points behind," fumed Schaaf.
"We are annoyed about that.
"What the team showed (from that performance) was good, but we didn't get to take anything away. That is a real pity."