Hipkiss scored a vital second-half try as Tigers came from behind to win 23-17 at the Memorial Stadium and move top of the Guinness Premiership table on Friday night.
It was the England centre’s first appearance after missing seven games through injury and Hipkiss said he felt in good shape after his rehab work with the Tigers physios and conditioners.
“I was pleased to come back,” Hipkiss said. “Alex Martin has done a really good job and my physio Bobby. I am really grateful because they did a lot of hard work and put in a lot of research to try to get me back into shape and I felt good.”
Tigers were trailing Bristol 17-13 when Hipkiss scored his try to put them ahead with 13 minutes remaining. Replacement scrum-half Ben Youngs tapped a quick penalty before racing 30m into the Bristol 22 and passing to Hipkiss, who finished under the posts.
Hipkiss said: “Fair play to Ben Youngs. He has done a lot for us. He is a talent and I am grateful for him making that opportunity. He showed some great pass and I think he is going to be one for the future.”
Tigers return to Welford Road this weekend to take on Saracens in the Guinness Premiership. Tickets are available from the ticket office on 08701 28 34 30.