Jean-Philippe Gbamin has paid tribute to the “great support” he received from the Everton medical staff during his injury layoff – and revealed how their unstinting encouragement helped him remain positive and motivated over the course of his rehabilitation.
Midfielder Gbamin made his first Everton appearance in more than 18 months on Monday evening, the 25-year-old coming on as a 78th-minute substitute in the Blues’ 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace at Goodison Park.
Ivory Coast international Gbamin joined Everton from German side FSV Mainz in summer 2019. He featured in the Blues’ first two matches of the 2019/20 campaign before sustaining a serious quadriceps injury in training.
He was closing on a return to First-Team action for last season’s Premier League run-in but suffered an Achilles injury, forcing him into another lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Gbamin says the expertise of the Club’s medical staff has been central in his return to full fitness – and explained how they kept his spirits high during the recovery process.
"The medical team have been very, very good with me,” Gbamin told evertontv.
“They gave me great support. Danny Donachie [Director of Medical Services], Craig Yuill [Masseur], Adam Newall [Physiotherapist], Richie Porter [Podiatrist], all the staff who helped me… everybody was here for me.
“We had good moments together, so I was not only thinking about the injury. Every day I came here, I was happy.
“And even if I was starting to think badly or feel badly, they were always here for me, and gave me great support.”
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ANCELOTTI ON GBAMIN RETURN AND JAMES IMPACT
First-Team Physiotherapist Newall had previously explained how he had to “rein JP in a bit sometimes” as Gbamin worked tirelessly during his intensive rehabilitation programme.
The midfielder says the work-ethic, application and desire displayed during his battle back to peak fitness reflect the characteristics which have helped him develop into a high-quality international footballer.
He also says the Club's medics and coaches kept him motivated by varying his exercises and continually setting him challenges and goals throughout his recovery.
"I'm always competitive,” Gbamin added.
“When you do sport, in general you have to be competitive because you want to go to the highest level you can and you want to be the best.
“You have to be competitive.
“This is what I do and I hope now I can show how I am competitive on the pitch with my teammates."
Hear more from Gbamin's first interview since his comeback on evertonfc.com from Thursday.