We manifested my comeback goal, jokes Teegarden


Colette Carr

For midfielder Sarah Teegarden, the sheer elation of crossing the white line and finding the back of the net for the first time since March 2020 was almost impossible to describe, as she celebrated her return to play over a year on from her devastating ACL injury.

Speaking at Station Park after Celtic's final pre season friendly, the American confessed that the moment she was introduced onto the pitch didn't feel real as she blinked back the tears, but hailed her teammates for being a real driving force in helping her back.

“It’s tough to put it into words," she began.

“It was just a surreal moment and a lot of joy having all the team around me. Knowing how hard of a year it was and having the team beside me and going through all the ups and downs of my recovery, and especially recovery during a pandemic, it was definitely not easy.

“So there’s a lot to enjoy and I’m just full of happiness," she told.

The January 2020 signing sustained the horror injury in the club's 5-1 League Cup win at Spartans before lockdown struck, but it was a dream reintroduction into Fran Alonso's matchday side after her long road back, gaining twenty valuable minutes while sweeping home a sweet strike to mark the return with a spot on the scoresheet.

And while she joked that she and her teammates had manifested the goal, it's credit and deserving of her hard work and commitment to her rehab and return.

She said: “It’s always a good story to get a goal after an ACL in your first minutes. We talked and joked about and I didn’t think it would actually happen, but I had some hope and I believe we may have manifested it just a little bit, because we talked about it so much!

“I feel good. It was nice going in towards the end because people are maybe a little fatigued but the game’s got a rhythm so I can assess and jump in comfortably. I felt comfortable which was really good, not just with the goal but being able to move and connect with my teammates again like I haven’t just missed over twelve months. 

“It honestly felt like I just slotted right back in and that’s down to the girls and how much they've made me feel comfortable coming back and my transition into contact, so it’s been really good."

The 25-year-old's rehab story was unlike many others. Coinciding with the Coronavirus pandemic and the shutdown of women's football, Teegarden's year long absence only seen her miss out on seven matches, having been injured in the Celts' final game ahead of the first lockdown.

And while the strange time brought a strange comfort in that she wasn't alone in missing out on time on the pitch, the vision of getting back out there lit a fure under her to work relentlessly both statestide and in Scotland, admitting she had been dreaming of that moment since her recovery began.

“Probably since I got my op - that’s your motivation as soon as you’re recovering, you're thinking 'I’m going to need to get back in the game' everyday that you’re in rehab," she said.

And with it all to play for for the Hoops in the league, Teegarden is remaining committed to her return to competitive action, and is ready to play her part when called on.

“We’ve got the second half of the season starting and now we’ve got to win games and get points.

“We have Anna in there now too which is great, so I think we can have some very good rotations which is great. We’ve lots of talent for us in there and we’re all versatile which is huge, so we can play off each other easily. With all the back to back games it’ll be really good to have all of us. I know I won’t be right back in there just being back, but I’m going to keep working as possible."

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