There were brilliant scenes on Monday night as Cork City defender John Dunleavy after spending over a year out with injury.
The 26-year-old, so unlucky with injury problems in recent seasons, has been out of action since sustaining a knee injury in a Premier Division clash against Shamrock Rovers in June 2017.
The injury put an end to Dunleavy’s campaign – ruling him out of the Europa League run, title-winning run-in and FAI Cup final – but he can look forward to better times ahead after making his comeback in City’s friendly against Portsmouth at Turner’s Cross on Monday night.
— Cork’s RedFM Sport (@BigRedBench) July 2, 2018
SUBSTITUTION | After more than a year on the sidelines, Johnny Dunleavy finally makes his return to the Turner’s Cross pitch in a City jersey as he replaces John Kavanagh after 68 mins. #CCFC84
— Cork City FC (@CorkCityFC) July 2, 2018
— Johnny Dunleavy (@Johnny_Dunleavy) July 2, 2018
The match itself finished in a 4-1 win to the visitors, but that will pale in comparison to the overwhelmingly happy feeling in the Leeside faithful to Dunleavy on the pitch again.
The match also saw a first run-out for Damien Delaney since his return from Crystal Palace, with John Kavanagh, Achille Campion and Pierce Phillips all featuring too, having recently returned from loan spells away.
Dunleavy was the first subject of our documentary series Scars last December, in which he gave a frank and honest account of his injury and recovery – from both a physical and mental point of view.