OGC Nice’s reserve team coach Regis Beunardeau expressed his joy at seeing Mahamane Traore return to the pitch following an extensive injury layoff.
Les Aiglons’ reserve team secured a 3-2 victory over Le Pontet in CFA (the French third tier) on Saturday evening. However, beyond the win, there was also delight as Malian midfielder Traore returned to the pitch.
The international has been out of action since May due to a long-standing muscle problem.
The road to recovery has been long, but he finally returned to action at the weekend, featuring for 45 minutes in the third tier.
“My players gave everything (last night),” began Beunardeau, speaking to Nice’s official website, “but there is, above all, a second major satisfaction: the return of Mahamane.
“He played a half and he had good feelings. At the break, he told me that he felt good and that he wanted to come on.
“He’s suffered physically, but it’s normal, because nothing can replace playing time. It’s great that he was able to compete for 45 minutes, even if it was hard for him in the last quarter of an hour.”
Traore, who represented Mali in three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments, last featured in Ligue 1 against Sochaux at the beginning of May next year.
It remains to be seen, however, whether he will have a role to play over the final eight weeks of the French league season, with Nice still not completely clear of relegation.