Ghanaian midfielder Sabit Abdulai has started his recovery process a serious injury that has seen him not play for eight months.
Abdulai who plays for Spanish outfit Getafe has been on the sidelines since July 2021 when he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
He picked up the injury during a pre-season friendly against Stade Rennes and the midfielder had to undergo surgery.
Fortunately for Sabit, the surgery was successful and after staying home for more than six months, he has been cleared to start training and work his way to full fitness.
The 22-year-old has been working hard as he hopes to make a return before the current season concludes.
Sabit moved to Getafe from Extremadura in 2020. It was a loan move initially before the club handed him a three-year contract last season.
He is officially registered as a B team player.
Last season he earned the trust of then first-team coach José Bordalás who handed him opportunities in La Liga.
Sabit made three appearances, playing 45 minutes against Messi and the likes at the Camp Nou as Getafe were beaten 5-2 by Barcelona.
He was on the losing side but was overjoyed to have shared the same pitch as the Argentine legend.
“Before the Barcelona match, I had the feeling that I was going to get maybe 5-10 minutes playing time but when the coach made the selection, he kept one or two best midfielders on the bench,” Abdulai told BBC Sport Africa.
“So I told myself maybe even if there were going to be substitutions it would be them because they are the starters.
“When we went for half-time in the dressing room the coach mentioned my name that I should go and warm up. I said: ‘Me?!’ He said: ‘Yes, you.’ I was surprised. I can’t even describe it. I was overwhelmed.
“When the referee whistled for the start of the second half, my mind was focused on the game but when I was getting close to [Lionel] Messi, I was asking myself: ‘Is this Messi I am going to meet?’. I couldn’t believe it.
“Me against Messi, (Antoine) Griezmann, (Gerard) Pique, (Sergio) Busquets… Although the result wasn’t good for us, I felt happy playing against those kind of players.”