Itumeleng Khune was met with applause as he made his first appearance since December last year, leading the team ahead of their midweek match against AmaZulu.
A shoulder injury had kept him on the sidelines for over six months.
He had a good showing although he was never really tested, and was perhaps lucky to keep a clean sheet with two of Usuthu’s goals controversially disallowed.
“I am glad he is back,” said Cardoso on Thursday. “He is a leader and at the back that helps us out a bit. You can see that he takes command at the back, he speaks from the back and we were missing that – no disrespect to Daniel Akpeyi and Bruce Bvuma – but he talks a lot, which is what we lacked in the past games.
“He comes out, he talks and that helps us out from the back and I think that will help us out a lot this season,” added Cardoso.
Amakhosi coach, Ernst Middendorp said it was about finding the right time to reintroduce Khune into the team after he had recovered, as they didn’t see the need to rush him back.