Andre Gomes made a warmly-received comeback from his serious ankle injury in Everton's 3-2 defeat at Arsenal in the Premier League.
Andre Gomes was thrilled to return for Everton and thanked well-wishers after making his comeback from an awful ankle injury.
The Portuguese midfielder, formerly of Barcelona, was seriously hurt by a challenge with Tottenham's Son Heung-min in early November.
A fractured dislocation required surgery, and Gomes was emotional weeks later when he revealed the messages of support he had received.
Yet just 112 days after he needed oxygen while being carried off the pitch at Goodison Park, Gomes was back on duty in Sunday's Premier League clash at Arsenal.
He came off the bench just before the hour mark and provided fresh impetus as Everton chased the game from 3-2 down.
They could not muster an equaliser and left Emirates Stadium empty-handed, but Gomes' introduction came as a huge plus point for the visitors.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti confirmed he wanted to start with Gomes, who was reluctant.
Ancelotti confirmed he now intends to play Gomes from the first minute against Manchester United next Sunday.
"Actually, I need to thank everybody," Gomes said, reflecting on his road to recovery.
"The team, they were great. My supporters – Evertonians – and also in general, football supporters, everyone has been wonderful with me.
"Also, other players, other professional players, ex-professional players as well.
"It gives confidence obviously and you feel like you have the support of the people and I just pushed myself to my limit.
"I wanted to be back as soon as possible and I'm glad I had the help of everybody around me."
Former Liverpool midfield hardman Graeme Souness praised Gomes for the way he got immediately stuck in, with a late yellow card for a feisty challenge proof of his returning physical confidence.
"He got them on the front foot," Sky pundit Souness said. "He was making cute and clever passes. He's moving the same as I remember him.
"He might need five games, he might need four games, to get up to speed. But you wouldn't accuse him of not being up to speed today.
"He was great for half an hour and it's onwards and upwards for him. The biggest thing is there was no change in his gait, the way he ran."