Ex-Man City Defender returns after being clinically blind

Norway international defender Omar Elabdellaoui made a sensational comeback to top-level football, more than a year after being left clinically blind when a firework exploded in his eye.

The 30-year-old, who began his career at Manchester City and also played with Harry Maguire and Andy Robertson at Hull City, required 11 surgeries to save his sight after the accident on New Year’s Eve 2020.

There were points at which it was not certain that Elabdellaoui would regain his sight, let alone be able to return to professional football.

However, after 432 days away, he was back in Galatasaray’s starting line-up for their Super Lig game at Goztepe, playing the full 90 minutes as Domenec Torrent’s team picked up their first win of 2022.

One of the doctors who saw the defender during his road to recovery put Elabdellaoui’s chances of recovering his sight at just 5-10%, but he returned to Galatasaray’s bench for a game against Kayserispor at the start of February and finally made his return on Monday.

Galatasaray had been on a difficult run in the league, going six games without a win, but two late goals from former Swansea City striker Bafetembi Gomis gave them a 3-2 victory on Monday.

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