Mikael Uhre was not able to go through full team training over the last month, but he was still kept busy in preparation for his arrival to Major League Soccer.
The Danish striker made his first appearance at Philadelphia Union training on Tuesday. He arrived on Friday after his visa was secured to play in MLS.
Uhre still needs to gain full match fitness, but he was happy with how things went on Tuesday morning in Chester.
"It was lovely. It was just lovely to be back playing football," Uhre said. "The body has to get used to it again. It's been a month with no real team training, so of course I have to get my body used to it. I'm feeling good. All of the guys gave me a warm welcome and that's perfect."
Uhre worked out with a personal trainer during his month away from the field while he was waiting for his visa to be approved, but he admitted he needs to get used to the physical side of the game again.
"I think my body is responding well. Of course you need to get into it. That's obvious. I've been training with a personal trainer in Denmark and he's been giving me hell. It feels alright, but of course, there's some movements and duels that you can't train. I have to get into protecting the ball and stuff, but I feel comfortable out there."
Union manager Jim Curtin and some players were in contact with Uhre throughout his wait to make sure the transition was as smooth as possible
"I couldn't be on the pitch with the team, but I tried to give Jim a call and say if I could get some video to get to know the game patterns and everything. It really helped me a lot. I have a better idea of what they wanted to do when I arrived. I had a bit of time on the plane to look at some video too," Uhre said.
"It was nice. Jakob (Glesnes) really took me under his wing. Of course us speaking nearly the same language it was easy to reach out to him and he's been welcoming me very well. Modern technology is wonderful in these types of situations," Uhre said.
Uhre was also busy at home during the wait. He and his wife welcomed their first child in December. He got to spend extra time with his newborn as the wait went on.
"It was a bit frustrating, but then again, I couldn't really do anything. I just tried to look on the bright side of things. I just had a newborn baby in December. It was nice to have a bit of paternity leave being home and helping. I tried to look at the bright side and take things as they come," Uhre said.
"No not really (a lot of sleep), but I look on the bright side and I tried to help her out a bit more than I would normally during the season because during the season it's important to get your sleep. She understand that so I'm a lucky man." Uhre said.
Uhre's family is set to arrive in Philadelphia on Tuesday night.
The Danish forward could make his Union debut on Saturday against CF Montreal inside the Olympic Stadium.
"The last month I've mostly been training on turf. It's what it is. I like to play on grass more than I do on turf, but we also have some teams in the Danish league that play on turf. It is what it is," Uhre said.
Uhre's home debut should be on March 12 against the San Jose Earthquakes. He got a taste of what to expect when he was introduced inside Subaru Park prior to Saturday's draw with Minnesota United.
"It's perfect. It's amazing. They even took the song they had at my old club and chanted it. It was an experience I'll never forget. I just look forward to being on the pitch with the guys instead of in the stands," Uhre said.
"The fan base, I am out of words. It's brilliant. It's sometimes hard to describe how much it means. Coming from a club with big traditions and a huge history, I feel at home already because of the fans. I'm used to playing for fans that really want to be in the game and they really want to feel it. I think that's something I can relate to these fans," Uhre said.