Olympique Lyonnais midfielder Nabil Fekir has expressed his delight at the reception he received from club supporters on his return.
At the start of this season it looked as if the 22-year-old was going to deliver on the remarkable potential he showed in Lyon's previous Ligue 1 campaign. Unfortunately for club and player, a serious knee injury sustained on the fourth match of the season, put seven-month stop to the youngster's promising career.
Now, after missing almost 40 matches for his club, he is finally getting some time on the pitch, albeit as a substitute.
Fekir spoke to The Ligue 1 Show on beIN SPORTS about the reception he received on his return, the competition he faces to break back into the first-team starting line-up and the possibility of making Didier Deschamps' Euro 2016 squad.
"I had been waiting for that moment for a long time," he said. "After seven months out I had missed the competitive edge, it was real a moment of real joy. I thought about those close to me, who have been there for me, who helped me recover from the injury. Finally there was light at the end of the tunnel."
"It was a brilliant feeling that really warmed my heart," he said of the fans' reception. "It touched me because I really wasn't expecting that. So yes, it was a surprise.
"I was a bit scared but my knee stood up to it, which is encouraging. I can't say I am at 100 per cent yet but yes, I am getting better and better and I feel an improvement every day.
"Rachid [Ghezzal] has being playing terrifically. I have been aware of his qualities for some time, he's a top player so I'm not surprised. Now, others are seeing that so it's good for him, he deserves it.
"I would be very happy to play alongside him. When it comes to where I should play, I don't mind. I can play in any attacking role.
"My injury has complicated things. That, and the fact that there are so many players in top form, means that a place is not guaranteed. But if my name does appear in Didier Deschamps' list I would be over the moon.
"He sent me messages regularly to check up on me and to encourage me so that was always nice. Before the Montpellier match, he said he was delighted to hear of my return but warned me not to rush things."