OTD Arsenal midfielder returns from long-term injury

On 2 April 2005, Arsenal legend, Gilberto Silva, returned to action after a long layoff after suffering a back injury.

The back injury had threatened to end Gilberto’s career.

After playing for most of the season with severe back pain, the midfielder was sent for a scan following a match against Bolton in September. The scan revealed that he’d fractured his back and would be sidelined for a month.

However, doctors ordered him to wear a back brace for three months and it soon became apparent that Gilberto would be sidelined for far longer than had been initially thought. The Brazil international returned to his country to recover.

Gilberto made his return at Highbury in a 4-1 win over Norwich. The Brazilian even had a hand in the build-up play for the first goal of the game – one of three for Thierry Henry.

Henry’s hattrick and a goal from Freddie Ljungberg meant that Darren Huckerby finding the net in the 30th minute meant nothing.

Gilberto went on to play for Arsenal for three more years, making 170 league appearances and scoring 17.