Tessel Middag stepped onto the pitch this weekend for the first time since May 2017.

The Dutch midfielder made her first appearance since suffering a cruciate ligament injury, in the semi-final of the Development League Cup on Sunday afternoon, playing for the duration of the first half before being substituted at the break.

Middag helped City to book a place in the final with a 2-0 win over Chelsea’s Under-23s and described her return as surreal.

“It was almost unreal because from the moment of my injury to Sunday it was almost 10 months,” she explained to ManCity.com. “Obviously I’ve been working towards this moment for a long time and it’s just weird that all of a sudden it was there and I was putting on the match kit again.

“I couldn’t wear my own kit with the development squad as they play with numbers one to eleven, and if I had worn my number there would’ve been two number fours on the pitch!

“But to wear the City kit and to be out on the pitch doing the warm-up and playing felt so great. It felt so good to have that matchday feeling again!”

With a taste of game minutes, the midfielder is now eyeing a return to the first team.

“The medical staff have been great and it was never an option for me not to return,” she continued. “I’m just hoping to make my return to the first team as soon as possible and to feel like a footballer again!

“I could feel the support from my teammates and the fans as well after my appearance – it feels amazing because everyone has got your back. It’s almost like your family.”

Reflecting on her performance, Middag added she was pleased, declaring: “I was quite glad with that game as I think Chelsea’s Development Squad are at a high level.

“It was quite an intense game which was good for me as it helps me prepare for my comeback with the first team.

“I was so glad that I could play a part in helping the team reach the final – the girls were absolutely buzzing after the final whistle.”

Great to see Tessel back in a City strip and we wish her well as she continues her comeback from injury!