Wycombe Wanderers’ 3-0 win over the Fulham Under 23s on July 9 may have been a game to get the fitness levels up, but it meant so much for one Chairboys player.

Nick Freeman played the first-half of the pre-season victory in what was his first game for the club in 322 days.

The 26-year-old has not had a single second of fixture football since suffering a serious anterior cruciate ligament injury (ACL) in Wanderers’ 1-0 win over Lincoln City on August 21 last year.

His injury was a tough pill to swallow as it occurred in what was his only league start of that season, following three consecutive appearances from the bench.

READ MORE: 'We’ll have to assess it' - Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth on Nick Freeman's injury in Lincoln win

His season-ending injury came at the worst possible time for the then 25-year-old, as he was on the road to getting his Wanderers career back on track after being somewhat of a forgotten man at the club.

This is because prior to the start of the 2021/22 campaign, Freeman’s future looked in doubt.

He had only played eight games for Wycombe during their Championship year with seven of those fixtures coming in the league.

Deemed surplus to requirements, he was loaned out to Leyton Orient in League Two on a six-month loan deal which seemed to reenergize the midfielder, as he played 15 times for the O’s, starting 10 of those fixtures.

A return to Adams Park followed in the summer of last year and after Gareth Ainsworth admitted to the BFP that he and Freeman had ‘some real one-to-ones’, it seemed that the central midfielder was going to make his mark on the campaign ahead.

READ MORE: Gareth Ainsworth provides injury updates on Nick Freeman and Anthony Stewart

He was involved during pre-season, he was getting minutes, and he played in Wanderers’ first four matches of that campaign.

Alas, it wasn’t to be.

But after spending a year on the sidelines where he took part in community projects, offered his services to the club’s media team, and signed a one-year contract extension to remain at Wanderers, could 2022/23 be the season that Freeman gets his career back on track?

He impressed in the four games he played prior to his injury and with Curtis Thompson still out, this campaign could be the perfect opportunity for the midfielder to get some regular game time and remind fans of his talents.

He can pick out a pass, can attack, can defend, can read the game well, and most importantly, he will have that hunger and desire to be one of the main names of Ainsworth’s teamsheet after being out for so long.

READ MORE: 'Nick is our kind of Wanderer' - Freeman signs new deal at Wycombe

Jasper Pattenden, Dominic Gape, Jack Young, Lewis Wing, and David Wheeler are just some of the names Freeman will be fighting against in order to secure that space in midfield alongside Josh Scowen, and after only playing 12 times for Wycombe in two seasons, he will want to make his mark.

Nick Freeman could be a born-again midfielder, and I for one can’t wait to see it.