The 23-year-old suffered a broken tibia in his right leg as a result of a challenge by Partick Thistle’s Hugh Murray back in Ton’s 3-1 home victory against the Jags last season.
That match was played on 6 October 2012, and after almost a year of gruelling rehabilitation the former Rangers and Stirling Albion man started for the Ton reserves on Monday night.
Stirling was given 60 minutes as David Hopkin’s men suffered a 3-0 reverse away at Alloa Athletic in the opening game of the SPFL Reserve League season as he looks to earn a new deal for this term.
Manager Allan Moore, who was in attendance at Recreation Park, said: “Stephen did alright for his first game back.
“He’s obviously lacking match fitness and a wee bit of game awareness.
“But the main thing was he got through it and he played for 50 to 60 minutes without feeling any ill effects.
“The rest will come in time. It doesn’t mean anything in terms of a contract yet.
“I think he’s got to get more than one game under his belt so we can have a wee look at him.
“I’ll need to have a wee discussion with the chairman to see what’s happening, but we’d like to stand by the boy, there’s no doubt about it.”