By Giuseppe Muro
Emmanuel Frimpong was delighted to make his comeback after eight months on the sidelines but he admits it felt strange to be back in Arsenal colours.
The combative midfielder came off the bench to complete 22 minutes for the Reserves on Tuesday night and mark his return from the serious knee injury he suffered towards the end of pre-season.
It was welcome relief for Frimpong to swap the gym for competitive football as he nears the end of a gruelling rehabilitation that has seen him miss virtually the whole of this season.
“It felt a bit weird to have the Arsenal shirt back on but I’m just happy that I’m back,” he told Arsenal.com after the 4-2 victory over Sunderland.
“I couldn’t find my tracksuit today actually! It felt a bit strange being on the pitch but hopefully the more games I can play the more I am going to feel OK.
“It hadn’t been planned for me to play but I told Neil [Banfield] that I felt fine to play. I’m just happy to be playing after so long.
Before picking up the injury in August, Frimpong appeared to be very much in Arsène Wenger’s plans after starting all six of Arsenal’s pre-season fixtures.
The Ghanaian admits that it’s been a frustrating time for him but now he just wants to put it behind him and concentrate on getting back into the manager’s thoughts.
“It’s been hard over the last [eight] months because I was doing well. You want to be out on the pitch and showing what you can do,” said Frimpong.
“I was going to go on loan [last summer] but then the boss said he wanted me to stay and be part of the team. It was just unfortunate that I got injured. I think being injured for so long can only make me stronger.”Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 6 Apr 2011