The Ivorian international came on as a late substitute in the final game of the Championship season as Cardiff drew 1-1 with Rotherham United.
It marked the first time the 36-year-old took to the field since revealing in January that he was undergoing chemotherapy after developing Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
After the match, McCarthy spoke of his delight at seeing the player back in action.
He said: "Sol has been a big part of this club for a long time. He got on the pitch and he was delighted with that and the lads were all delighted for him, as I am and the staff are.
"He has been a big part of the club and everybody loves him."
Bamba was a favourite at Easter Road for two-and-a-half seasons in the late noughties after joining from Dunfermline Athletic.