Marco van Ginkel is delighted after ending his two-and-a-half-year injury nightmare. He returned to the pitch in PSV Eindhoven’s 3-1 loss to AZ Alkmaar on Wednesday.

Van Ginkel last appeared on a pitch back in May 2018 but in the 86th minute of PSV’s clash with AZ on Wednesday he made his return.

After the game, Van Ginkel told ESPN, “Personally, this is a highlight. I worked hard for it and it took a long time. Being back now feels like a reward. Against Ajax I was there again, then I already tasted the atmosphere and I got a bit of everything in the stadium. Today I noticed that something had to be done when we were behind. I got a few minutes, that’s great.”

After almost 1000 days out, Van Ginkel is proud of his comeback and will celebrate at home, “At home I’m going to put things into perspective for a moment, that’s a lot. In the end I worked hard for it and I am proud to be back. Almost a thousand days? I just heard, yes. In the end I stopped counting the days. They are not the most important either. I was only working on my recovery, hoping to be able to play football again. There was also a period when that chance was a lot smaller. I’ve been through a lot of emotional things. In the end I’m standing here, then a congratulation is appropriate, yes.”

The on-loan Chelsea midfielder never gave up hope of a comeback, “The fire has never stopped burning. That was necessary, otherwise I would not have made it.”

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