Marco Reus' performance on his first Borussia Dortmund outing since May was "uplifting" for head coach Peter Stoger.
Germany international Reus did not look like a player who had been out of action for nine months due to anterior cruciate ligament damage as he buzzed around the pitch and showed a delicate touch from the opening minute.
The 28-year-old was replaced by Mario Gotze with 19 minutes remaining and the substitute scored in stoppage time to clinch a 2-0 win over Hamburg on Saturday.
It was the first time the attacker has featured for the new boss, having been out for all of Peter Bosz's spell in charge, and Stoger was delighted to see him on the field.
"Reus' performance was uplifting but that's not surprising," Stoger said. "He could have played the full 90 minutes today.
"It was a tough match against well-organised opposition. We're glad we won. It gives us bit of a rest and takes us a step further."
Reus wore the captain's armband with Marcel Schmelzer still absent due to an ankle injury and was pleased to return to the squad with a victory.
"We didn't show our best performance but at this stage it's just important to score and get the three points," he told Sky.
"We created chances and if we put on a bit more pressure the second goal would probably have come sooner.
"We know we still have a lot of work to do."
Michy Batshuayi scored Dortmund's opener – his third goal in two appearances since joining on loan from Chelsea on transfer deadline day – and he is targeting another strong showing in the first leg of the Europa League last-32 tie against Atalanta.
"I am very happy with the goal and the win. It is extremely important that we have two wins and stay near the top in the table," Batshuayi said.
"The link-up with my team-mates is getting better and better. But still, I'll be watching the game back tonight to see what I did well and bad so I can play better on Thursday."