Simone Pepe says his injury nightmare is over after making his long-awaited return for Juventus on Wednesday.
The versatile wide player came on as a substitute in the 3-0 Coppa Italia win over Avellino – 396 days after his last appearance in a 0-0 with Lazio back in November 2012.
“It’s been a long way back, but I feel I can say the nightmare is finally over,” the former Roma and Udinese man noted.
“I need to work to regain full fitness and reach the same levels as my teammates.
“I’m not one who easily gets emotional, but I must admit I felt it when I heard the crowd’s roar tonight. I need to thank the fans, as well as my family and teammates, for supporting me throughout.”
Pepe played a key part in the club’s first Scudetto win under Antonio Conte and he’s looking to again make a contribution.
“I think this team has developed even further since I was last in action, especially from a psychological point of view,” he added.
“There’s a long way to go, but we could certainly enjoy a satisfying season. Juventus have everything in place to do so.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition  - £5,000 monthly.