Everton striker Arouna Kone is looking forward to making his long-awaited comeback on Thursday.
The 31-year-old has been on the sidelines with a serious knee ligament injury since last November.
Having now fully recovered, Ivory Coast international Kone is set to start Everton’s Europa League Group H clash against FK Krasnodar at Goodison Park on Thursday.
The former Sevilla star, who joined Everton from Wigan Athletic in the summer of 2013, is relishing playing his first competitive match in over a year.
Kone: "It's going to be fantastic [to start]. It'll be like making my debut again. It has been a long time coming." #EFCvKRA— Everton (@Everton) December 10, 2014
Kone: "I've never been out as long as I have with this injury. I have had to be patient. In training I feel great." https://t.co/sbfBskbbQg— Everton (@Everton) December 10, 2014
AK: The support from the manager and the fans has been very important. Last season was so frustrating. It was made easier with that support— Everton (@Everton) December 10, 2014
The striker has proved his quality in English football, and although competition for places in the team is fierce, his comeback is going to make the Merseyside outfit better and stronger.
It is certainly going to take Kone some time to get into rhythm, but once he hits his stride, he will play a crucial role in Everton’s quest to finish in the top four of the Premier League and win the Europa League.