Striker happy to be back after injury nightmare
Mamady Sidibe admits he thought he would never play again after snapping his Achilles tendon for a second time.
The 31-year-old had been pushing for a return almost six months after first snapping the tendon when he suffered a major setback in his recovery earlier this year.
Now, more than 13 months after his last first-team appearance, the Mali international played for the reserves last week and is now hoping to reclaim a place in manager Tony Pulis' side.
"When I did it the second time I didn't know what was going to happen," he told the club's official website.
"It is very rare to do the Achilles twice.
"The operation was bigger and I was in doubt if I was going to play again.
"It was really difficult but I kept working with the physio and did a lot of work to give me the confidence I could play again.
"Now everything is starting to get back to normal and I am really happy."
Pulis maintained faith in the forward throughout his troubles and named him in his 25-man Premier League squad for this season.
The former Swansea and Gillingham forward, who has set no target date for a first-team comeback, added: "That is a very big boost. The gaffer has been great with me since I have been at the club.
"I could just say 'thank you' to him but the only but the only way I can thank him is to play well when he calls me to play.
"That is the only thing I can do but it is very good to be in the squad."