Smicer glad to be back

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Vladimir Smicer insists he never considered quitting during his lengthy battle to return from a knee injury.

The former Liverpool midfielder had been sidelined since last February after damaging ligaments in his knee.

But he made his first start for Bordeaux since suffering the injury when he lined up against Bastia in the Coupe de France on Saturday.

Smicer was delighted to be back on the pitch again and believes his return will be like a new signing for Bordeaux.

"It is a release," Smicer told L'Equipe. "I am the winter reinforcement!

"While everyone is looking to know who will leave or arrive, I am the new forward.

"To be serious, I am very happy.

"I never thought of giving up, even if sometimes I have been very pessimistic. It has lasted 10 months.

"Now I am convinced I can bring something to the team. I know what I can bring and I have a big desire."