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Erik Lamela feared he would never play football again during his 13-month injury lay-off.

The Argentine returned to the first team for the first time in over a year on Tuesday night, coming off the bench and providing an assist in Tottenham’s 2-1 defeat at Leicester City.

“It was crazy, probably the worst time of my life,” Lamela told reporters after the game. “I really wanted to play but it took too long, my injury.” (Quotes via Yahoo!.)

“The lowest point was when I did two surgeries in one and a half months. I was not available to play but was working every day and doing the right rehabilitation. In my mind was always the feeling that I wanted to play and be back with the team.

“Did I ever worry I wouldn’t come back? Of course, in really bad times you always think the worst.

“But my family was always with me and the supporters who wanted me on the pitch, they brought me energy to work every day and to never give up. I’m here today because I really wanted it, and when you really want something you can do it.

“The manager and all the staff honestly were amazing. They were always with me, behind me. All of us wanted the same thing – me playing. Sometimes you have to respect the times and today I feel better.”

In just 15 minutes on the pitch, Lamela impressed more than the majority of the team at Leicester. I hope he’s fit enough to play a part against Watford on Saturday.

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