Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder Marco Fabian made his long-awaited comeback from injury on Matchday 21 in the Eagles' 3-0 defeat to Augsburg on Sunday.
The Mexico international had been out of action since sustaining a back injury in summer 2017, and after initial conservative treatment efforts proved unsuccessful he was forced to undergo surgery.
The 28-year-old was named as a substitute in Augsburg and came on in the 67th minute as a replacement for Kevin-Prince Boateng. He immediately offered glimpses of his quality, completing 88 per cent of his passes and having two attempts on goal in his short time on the pitch.
"I would have preferred not to come back in a game like that because of the way we lost," Fabian told bundesliga.com afterwards. "But I have to thank God for giving me the opportunity to play on a football pitch again after six months. I'm now enjoying my football again and need to keep working hard but it was a special day for me today."
Watch: Fabian on his comeback
It was Fabian's first competitive appearance in 218 days since playing for Mexico at the Confederations Cup against Portugal. His previous outing for Frankfurt was in the 2-1 DFB Cup final defeat to Borussia Dortmund in May 2017.
"Fabian's got an eye on the 2018 World Cup," said Frankfurt head coach Niko Kovac recently. "He needs playing time in order to make the squad." Now back to full fitness, Fabian looks set to be gradually eased back into the side over the coming weeks.
Watch: Fabian's top 5 Bundesliga goals