Alphonso Davies made his first appearance of 2022 on Wednesday, playing the full 90 minutes of Bayern Munich's UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg at Villarreal.
Davies had been sidelined since early January after being diagnosed with an inflammatory heart condition following a bout of Covid-19. The 21-year-old Canadian last played competitively on 17 December 2021, but impressed on his return.
The freshly minted 2021 CONCACAF Player of the Year was Bayern's best player for shots on goal (three), attempted and successful dribbles (nine/ seven), and attempted and successful challenges (24/ 15).
"You could see that he still needs some time to find his rhythm and be his old self again," commented Bayern head coach Julian Nagelsmann of Davies - one of the positives following the slender 1-0 loss in Spain. "He is physically in very good shape. The time will come [for him to be back up to full speed]."
Davies was one of a number of first-team players hit with Covid following the Bundesliga's winter break. He was back in training in the second week of January, but his return was put on hold after tests showed the Edmontonian was suffering from signs of inflammation of the heart muscle.
Myocarditis - in most cases a mild, temporary condition - was detected in the follow-up examination that all players undergo following a positive Covid test. Davies eventually returned to training in March, and was able to complete full team sessions by the end of the month.
"I'm feeling good," Davies told Canada's The Sports Network ahead of his lomg-awaited comeback. "The progression is going well. I have check-ups here and there to make sure everything is still in line."
Watch: Alphonso Davies - Bundesliga Player of the Month, November 2021
Davies - who joined Bayern from Vancouver Whitecaps in January 2019 - has been a first-team regular for over two years. He became a world star with his performances during Bayern's 2020 sextuple-winning campaign, and is widely viewed as one of the best left-backs in the game.
Davies has made 24 competitive appearances for Nagelsmann's Bayern in 2021/22, earning the Bundesliga's Player of the Month award for his efforts in November. He also reached 30 senior international caps for Canada during the November 2021 round of 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
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