Ryo Miyaichi signed a new contract with St. Pauli this week, as he finally starts to find some fitness after multiple cruciate ligament injuries.

Miyaichi fc st pauli
HAMBURG, GERMANY – NOVEMBER 20: Ryo Miyaichi of Pauli appears frustrated during the Second Bundesliga match between FC St. Pauli and Fortuna Duesseldorf at Millerntor Stadium on November 20, 2016, in Hamburg, Germany. (Photo by Oliver Hardt/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Since leaving Arsenal on a permanent deal to join St. Pauli in 2015, Miyaichi has had an extremely frustrating run of injuries. He missed 247 days of football between July 18th 2015 and March 21st 2016 thanks to a cruciate ligament rupture, then had further knee problems keeping him out for another fortnight a month later.

The next season, he suffered another cruciate ligament rupture, keeping him out for 245 days this time. He then struggled to return to full fitness over the next 52 days, before struggling with a setback with his ligaments forcing him to miss a further 69. In total, that’s 627 days (66 games) he had to sit out in three seasons.

Finally, the 26-year-old is back playing regularly again. He’s made 21 appearances this season, starting 15 matches and even completing 90 minutes on a few occasions. He has three goals and an assist from the wing, and his progress was rewarded with a new contract to 2021 this week.

ryo miyaichi
HAMBURG, GERMANY – JULY 24: during the FC St.Pauli team presentation on July 24, 2016, in Hamburg, Germany. (Photo by Matthias Kern/Bongarts/Getty Images)

The Japanese international was understandably quite emotional about the opportunity to continue playing professional football despite his injury troubles.

“I was moved to tears,” Miyaichi said. “I can give something back to the whole team. In addition, my family and I feel really at home in Hamburg.”

Let’s hope he can really kick on with his career at St. Pauli now.