FC Barcelona's Gabriel Milito said he was "delighted to have the old feeling of playing again" after the Argentina defender returned to action following almost 19 months on the sidelines with a knee injury.
The 29-year-old sat out Barcelona's treble-winning campaign last term with torn ligaments in his right knee and explained that being chosen by coach Josep Guardiola to play the first 45 minutes of a training game against Bolivian side Bolívar CF on Wednesday was a thrill. "It was very special for me after so long without playing," Milito said. "I played the first half as the boss wanted and physically I felt fine. I've been training with the lads for the last month and things have come on a lot. I'm much more confident, secure and optimistic."
The centre-back suffered the injury during Barcelona's UEFA Champions League semi-final second-leg defeat at Manchester United FC in April 2008, and spent several months of his recovery period in Argentina. The former Real Zaragoza man said the support he received from his club had been an immense help. "I can only say thank you to Barcelona for the patience they've shown me," he said. "I'm still a little way off playing a competitive match but the steps I'm taking are very significant."
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