Crystal Palace defender Pape Souare has spoken of his delight at returning to competitive football after a lengthy spell on the touchlines.
Souare has been recovering from several injuries ever since being involved in a car accident last September.
The defender featured against Nottingham Forest in the Development League match on Tuesday at Selhurst Park. Speaking to club website, the Senegal international said: “It was very nice to be back playing at Selhurst Park and I really enjoyed it. I have been working hard with the medical team and it’s great that I am able to be back today and playing forty five minutes.
"I played at wing-back today, but I feel comfortable in that position because I have played there before but now it is about working hard to keep getting my fitness to the level it needs to be so I am ready to challenge for the first team squad when I can.
"This is my first main injury I have had since playing football and really I am just delighted to be in a position to be playing and I would like to thank the medical team for all the work they have done to get me back to this stage so that I am ready to be playing again."
The 27-year-old joined the Eagles from Lille in 2015 and has made 46 Premier League appearances. He praised the fans at Selhurst Park and reveals he uses them as motivation during his rehabilitation.
"I was always focussed on my rehab and always believed that one day I would be back. I knew that after my operation I would have to work hard to make sure that I was strong enough to play. It has been a long journey so it is pleasing to have played half of this game," he added.
"I just wish and hope that one day I get the chance to run out in front of the fans for a first team game because they have been great, really encouraging me since the accident and I would like to thank them all."