It has been a long, long time since Toffees have seen Yannick Bolasie hit the pitch in the royal blue shirt. Since his knee injury in the first week of December 2016, there have been two surgeries and countless hours of physiotherapy as the winger has slowly made his way back to full fitness.
Yesterday afternoon, he finally returned to the pitch in competitive action for David Unsworth’s Under-23 side. While the result at Leicester City ended up going against Everton with two ugly goals conceded late, Bolasie looked very good skinning some poor young lad at least twice in the half an hour or so he got as a second half substitute.
After the game, here’s what the Congolese international had to say to evertontv -
“Playing again was overwhelming. When I got on I felt good. I knew about two weeks ago I was going to play in this game so it’s good.
“There wasn’t any nerves! Now that I’ve played the 30 minutes there isn’t any. Maybe before there was some because it’s been a long time. Training is training – it’s totally different in the matches when it matters so, yes, I’m happy.
“I want to be with the [first team] boys. Right now the team is doing really well so you’re going to have to try to fight your way in but there’s no rush for myself. I know what my role is because a year out in football means it will be a month or two before I’m really back at it but the main thing is that I feel okay.
“Just the smell of grass again in the game was great.”
Bolasie was sent on by Unsworth and then created a chance for young defender Morgan Feeney who couldn’t put it away.
“He [Unsworth] just said, ‘Congrats’, and to go on and play simple.
“I did and we had that chance. For me, Morgan should have done better!
“It was a good game, although we lost unfortunately. It was disappointing on that front but for myself I’m overwhelmed that I came on to play 30 minutes.”
The return of Bolasie, assuming he gets back to full match fitness quickly, will give the Blues another attacking option during this busy holiday period with Everton scheduled to play seven Premier League games in December.