The centre-back made his first start in 662 days having missed most of the 2018/19 season with deep vein thrombosis before being diagnosed with bowel cancer at the start of the current campaign.
And although MacDonald was delighted to be back out on the pitch, he was unable to enjoy his achievement post-match as the Tigers were left empty-handed following Jason Pearce’s first-half winner for the Addicks.
“It was such a good feeling to play the full 90 minutes,” he said. “It was my first at this level for such a long time, but it just feels like a bittersweet return to action due to the result.
“With everything that has happened, all I wanted to do was to get back to playing football. That was all that kept me going through what was a tough period and I’m glad I’ve done it now.
“To get back out on the pitch was a blessing for me and something that I’ve worked ever so hard for.
“But, ultimately, all that matters is the team winning games. We didn’t do that yesterday and the aim now will be to rectify that at Birmingham next weekend.”
Reflecting more on the loss at the KCOM Stadium, MacDonald added: “The lads were gutted in the dressing room afterwards. We all knew how big the game was going into the match, so to come away with nothing was very frustrating.
“I think we did everything but score in the final third. We got into some decent positions but just couldn’t find the back of the net. I’m sure that will come through more match sharpness.
“It’s important to remember that it’s just one game though. We’ll dust ourselves down next week and get ready to go again.
“There’s still plenty of points to play for. We’ve still got eight games to come and it’s very tight at the bottom of the table.
“We won’t be feeling sorry for ourselves in any shape or form. We’ll pick ourselves up and go again next week. With the squad we’ve got, we’ll keep spirits high and keep fighting.”