AS Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman made his first start in a competitive match since March on Saturday.
The Netherlands international, widely considered as one of the best midfielders in the world, had suffered a long-term knee injury towards the tail-end of last season.
Having now fully recovered, Strootman started Roma’s Serie A clash against Sassuolo at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Saturday.
The game ended in a 2-2 draw, but the 24-year-old was still delighted to have featured from the start and thanked the club’s fans for their support.
Thanks for your support in the stadium. I am working hard to get back on my old level...1/2 pic.twitter.com/SF05euIHqk— Kevin Strootman (@Kevin_strootman) December 7, 2014
...and to join and help the team. Now we have our complete focus on the big match on Wedsnesday. 2/2— Kevin Strootman (@Kevin_strootman) December 7, 2014
The former PSV star was linked with a move to Manchester United in the summer transfer window, but nothing concrete materialised.
There have been reports in the British media that should Roma fail to progress to the last 16 of the Champions League then United manager Louis van Gaal will make a move for his compatriot.
Whether that happens or not remains to be seen, but at the moment Strootman seems happy just to be playing once again.