Kolo Toure has thanked the Club, his brother, family and City fans for standing by him over what have been an incredibly difficult past six months.
The Ivory Coast star is officially available to play for the Blues from today following the end of the ban imposed by the FA for failing a drugs test and he is champing at the bit to get back out on the pitch and start playing football again.
In an exclusive interview for citytv, Kolo explains how he took a tablet he believed to be approved by the authorities only to be told it was actually on a prohibited list – and his world was turned upside down.
“I remember it clearly,” he said. “I was at home in my bedroom when the Club doctor and Roberto Mancini came in to explain what had happened.
“It was a shock to see them there and I immediately realised the implications for my career, the Club and my family. It was an awful moment because I didn’t know what was going to happen.”
In the interview Kolo reveals how life became particularly difficult when his daughter came home from school after other children had asked her what her father had done.
“When people say drugs in Africa, it’s not quite the same as here when it could mean prescription drugs so I had to explain to her what had actually happened,” he said.
It’s been hard, but my family and the Club have been amazingly supportive and I thank them from the bottom of my heart
“Yaya has been incredible and as brothers, this has brought us even closer. He was always there for me and kept me informed of what was happening at the Club.
“I must also thank the manager, my team-mates, the staff and particulary Garry Cook and our Chairman Khaldoon Al-Mubarak for standing by me and helping me through this period. It's at times like this you know who your friends are and I'd also like to thank people like Arsene Wenger, too.
“And I will try and repay our amazing supporters for all their good wishes, kind words and support. I feel totally recharged and as fit as I’ve ever been in my life.
“Hopefully, it will be like having a new signing because I am back and want to challenge for a first-team place. I know it won’t be easy because the team is playing so well, but I’ll be pushing hard for an opportunity.
“I’m just so happy to be back and I will give everything I have to the team, this Club and our fans. I can’t wait to get going!”