Danielle Carter returned to action on Thursday night for Arsenal for the first time in 10 months.
Her return was almost spectacular as she hit the bar with her first shot after coming on to replace hattrick hero, Vivianne Miedema as Arsenal romped to a 4-0 win over Bristol City.
Taking to Twitter after the game, Carter couldn’t hide her delight at being back.
This is what tears of joy looks like! Unreal feeling making my comeback after soooo long out. The reception and messages I’ve received tonight is greatly appreciated.. thank you all!! 5 more cup finals left! 👊🏾🔴 pic.twitter.com/qTNYKZF6Gz
— Danielle Carter (@DanielleCarter) March 14, 2019
“It was an emotional moment and I’m getting emotional now!” she told Arsenal.com after the game. “Words really can’t describe it. It feels incredible and the reception I got was just something else. Ah, I can’t explain it!
“If that [one that hit the bar] went in then that would have been the cherry on top, but I’m just so happy to get back out there. All I want to do now is help the team over the last five games that we’ve got left.
“The support has been incredible and I can’t thank the medical team enough. Sam, Rose and Fran have helped me the most. I’ve spent a lot of time with those three so I’m so thankful for all of their help.
“I just want to get more minutes, build up my confidence and help the team to bring home the WSL trophy!”
Speaking to the media after the game, manager Joe Montemurro, highlighted what a special player Carter is.
“Thank god [her first shot hit the bar], we wouldn’t have heard the end of it!” Montemurro joked. “That’s Dan Carter for you, she’s a special player and an explosive player. We just love having her back and hopefully, we can get her improving and playing her best.
“I think the hardest thing has been the group. The group’s been on eggshells because of the size of the group and the fact that we all really care about each other.
“We’re really disappointed when we’ve got players out of action so it just shows the love and passion they have for each other. That’s been the hardest thing because so many of our players have been gutted that their teammates can’t be out there playing with them.
— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) March 15, 2019
“They’re our teammates so we want them to be available, we want them to be playing and we want training to be exciting, competitive and intense.
“This week’s training has been amazing because we’ve had a large amount of players competing and working with each other, so that’s allowed us to do some different things. It’s been very difficult with limited players on the pitch.”
Arsenal are now two points behind league leaders City but they have two games in hand meaning the title is still very much in their own hands.
Arsenal face Liverpool next. Kick-off at Prenton Park is at 12.30 on Sunday, March 24.