Tuesday night could have been an extremely special occasion for a player who left Rangers in the summer.
His Hamburg side were in action against RB Leipzig in the semi-final of the DFB Pokal.
However, developments on the night will have left him feeling disappointed on two levels.
Firstly, he was left out of the starting lineup for the match against Bundesliga opposition. Overall, it has been an extremely positive season, but recently, Die Rothosen’s form has slipped and Bates has paid the price.
He’s accumulated 27 appearances for his new club but was left out for the last two league games, before having to watch on from the bench against Leipzig.
Furthermore, his side fell agonisingly short in their quest for a first Pokal since 1986-87.
Playing with home advantage, Bates’ teammate, Bakery Jatta, cancelled out an early goal from the visitors to ensure the teams were level pegging heading into the break.
Things were to unravel in the second period, though, and they eventually succumbed to a 3-1 defeat.
The other semi-final takes place on Wednesday evening, between Bayern Munich and Werder Bremen.
It would have been some turnaround if Bates could go from the heart of a Gers defence shipping five at Easter Road, to facing off against the likes of Lewandowski, Muller, and Rodriguez, in the space of a year.
Alas, it was not to be this time around.
The focus will now turn to ensuring automatic promotion to the top tier. If they can achieve that, Bates should be turning out against those star names week in, week out, next season.