All White Ryan Thomas makes return to pitch after long period of rehab

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All Whites midfielder Ryan Thomas has taken a critical step forward in his long-term rehabilitation with Dutch club PEC Zwolle.

The injury-troubled Kiwi played 24 minutes for Zwolle in a practice game against Vitesse on New Year’s Eve, the first appearance he’s made since rejoining the second division club in October.

Heralding the team’s 3-2 win, the PEC Zwolle website report said: “Perhaps more important was the fact that Ryan Thomas made his first minutes.”

The report said Thomas was substituted midway through the first half, which was planned pre-game.

Thomas (28) is rebuilding his career with a one-year contract after leaving PSV in October.

He had joined PSV in 2019 from Zwolle but had experienced a cruciate ligament tear and two operations on his knee and ankle, putting his career at risk.

The former Melville United, Waikato FC and Western Suburbs player has been restricted to 19 full internationals since his debut in 2014.

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