An enforced stint on the sidelines might just have given Perth Glory defender Bas van den Brink the break he needed after a busy first half of the season.
Van den Brink appeared in all but one of Glory's first 13 games before being sent off in the defeat to league leaders Central Coast a fortnight ago.
He was handed a one-game ban and forced to sit out last week's game against Sydney FC, leaving coach Ian Ferguson with the makeshift pairing of Steve Pantelidis and Dean Heffernan in the centre of the back four.
Van den Brink returns to the squad for tomorrow's game against Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium and is expected to start alongside Pantelidis, with Socceroos defender Michael Thwaite still sidelined by a calf injury.
"It's always pretty bad to be on the sidelines whether you're not picked or injured," van den Brink said.
"No matter what the reason is, you just want to be one of the first 11 or first 15.
"For me, just as for everybody else, it was frustrating, but luckily I just had a one-game suspension and not longer than that. I'm happy to be back in the squad again.
"I think the break actually did me good because we've had a very busy schedule in the last few weeks.
"You never like to be sitting in the stands but I'm feeling good and my fitness is not an issue."
Van den Brink was sent off against Central Coast after receiving two yellow cards from referee Strebre Delovski. Glory felt hard done by given the perceived soft nature of the first offence.
But van den Brink said he should have been more careful in a late challenge on ex-teammate Mile Sterjovski that led to the second yellow card and his dismissal with Glory down 1-0 in the second half.
"I didn't completely agree but I can understand that he gave it and I should've been a bit smarter, having a yellow card already," van den Brink said.
"I just didn't think about that when I went into the challenge but especially with me being 30 (years old) I should've been a little bit smarter and not gone in like that.
"I can understand that it happened but I wasn't happy with it. I think two yellows, one red, was a bit harsh for the challenges I made."
·WA striker Julius Davies has joined Brisbane Roar after being released by Melbourne Victory.
Davies, 18, left to pursue greater opportunities after struggling for a place at Victory. He joins Socceroos defender Jade North as the second signing for Brisbane in the January transfer window.
Davies was targeted by Glory in 2011 but opted to remain in Germany with Bayern Munich's youth team. He went through Football West's National Training Centre program after arriving in Perth as a teenager from Sierra Leone.
"I think the break actually did me good because we've had a very busy schedule "" Glory defender *Bas van den Brink *