Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has made a massive step towards his recovery, after running outside at the club's Melwood training ground for the first time in eight months.
The Englishman has been steadily recuperating from a serious injury to his knee ligaments sustained in the Champions League semi-final against Roma at Anfield. Though it is still anticipated he will miss the rest of the season, this represents a big step in the road to recovery.
The 25-year-old posted this joyous picture on his Instagram on Monday, alongside the caption:
"That feeling when you’re finally back out on the grass for the first time in eight months."
While it may not seem like much, this activity does represent an important step in his return, as Oxlade-Chamberlain confirmed when he spoke to the Liverpool Echo in November: "I'd love to be able to make an appearance at least before the end of the season.
“The next target for me is to build up more in the gym towards being able to run outside again. I'll probably have to do two months of running which isn't my favourite thing.
“Once the ball comes out, it will become easier. I've already started passing a ball inside which feels good. When I get outside, I'll feel a lot closer."
Of course, he acknowledged that the process will take time, declaring: “Even when I'm back, I won't be fully at the races but it would be nice to get a few appearances before the end of the season.
"Probably more mentally, to prove I can do it. Then I have a good pre-season and start afresh next season.”
But Chamberlain's Liverpool teammates were certainly excited by his return, with Mohamed Salah taking to social media to proclaim his glee. Screenshotting the England international's post, Salah exulted: "It was a joy watching you run again!" alongside several love heart emojis.