Peter Osaze Odemwingie admitted his emotions were running high as he made his Stoke City return in the 1-1 draw with Sunderland on Saturday.
The Nigeria international was named amongst the substitutes after recovering from a serious knee injury which had kept him out since August.
Odemwingie only returned to full training last week and had not been expected to feature for another couple of weeks before Mark Hughes revealed he would be involved against the Black Cats on Friday.
City supporters were buoyed by seeing the forward back amongst the first team as they sang the 33-year-old’s name throughout the Barclays Premier League clash.
He was then handed the loudest cheer of the afternoon as he received a rapturous applause by a packed Britannia Stadium crowd when he replaced Jonathan Walters on 79 minutes.
“I’m really pleased to be back – it was a very emotional moment for me, I was at a point where I almost cried,” Odemwingie told Stoke City Player.
“I was really pleased with the reception from the Stoke fans, I can see how they see me and they’ve probably been one of the biggest motivations in me coming back.
“Throughout the seven months since the operation, I have really worked hard to make sure I caught a few games at the end of the season.
“The motivation to do that has been so strong for me that I am willing to risk it so I can contribute to the season and continue the aggressive strengthening at the end of the season.
“I just hope I can finish this season strongly and hopefully get a goal for the fans, I think that would be a great way to repay them for their magnificent support.
“I also have to give a massive thanks to our medical team who have done a really great job and I just hope I can contribute to the great season we’re having so far and help us finish in the top 10.”