West Ham United winger Andre Ayew is as elated to be back on the pitch after some time in the treatment room.
The Ghanaian injured his hamstring in August, and was effectively sidelined until Wednesday’s 2-1 League Cup win over Chelsea, when he made a return.
“It is a great feeling to be back,” Ayew told his club’s official website.
“I was supposed to be out for a very long time but the medical staff worked hard here and also in France.
“I want to thank all the people who helped me get out to play because we worked really, really hard. Now I hope it is just the beginning.
“There were different ideas from different specialists and we took the decision not to have the operation. Now things are going well. Hopefully, I can keep on training and get back to my fitness.
“I am not a player who had a lot of injuries in the past. It is part of the game. It was tough to accept that in the first game. I had to relax, do the treatment I had to do to get my leg right again.”
Ayew would have faced up to six months on the sidelines had he resorted to surgery.
He added: “It wasn’t easy but I knew the sacrifice that was ahead of me if I wasn’t going to have the operation. Hopefully, it was a good decision we took.
“I hope and pray that the next games will be the same so my confidence level will get higher. Every day I am getting stronger from training and I feel better.
“I get more confidence from the guys around me. They played when I was injured. They were calling me, etc.
“It was a difficult moment but at the end of the darkness you always see the light. Hopefully it will now continue. It was so frustrating what happened in that first game. But that’s football. You learn from that.
“You need to stay focused in the good moments and the bad moments and try to give your best on the field.”
Ayew has now made two league appearances for the Hammers this season, the most recent being a second half appearance in the 2-0 defeat to Everton on Sunday.