Sol Bamba: Cardiff City defender returns to Championship action after cancer treatment

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Sol Bamba - Cardiff City
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The Ivory Coast international underwent chemotherapy this year after he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

Sol Bamba returned to action for Cardiff City in their final Championship game of the season following his recovery from cancer.

Bamba was introduced as a 95th-minute substitute for Josh Murphy in the Bluebirds' 1-1 draw with relegated Rotherham United on Saturday.

He was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma – a group of blood cancer – this year and his last competitive outing was on December 16 when he was introduced in stoppage-time against Birmingham City.

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Just a month ago, the 36-year-old was given permission to start 'light training’ after going through his chemotherapy course.

After Marlon Pack's equaliser for Cardiff in the 88th minute, Bamba was thrown into the fray and he was welcomed to action with applause from everyone at the Cardiff City Stadium.

In his reaction, Cardiff City boos Mick McCarthy described the Ivory Coast international’s return as a joy for everyone at the club.

“Sol has been a big part of this club, for a long time,” McCarthy told the club website. “When they were starting to make substitutions and put bigger players on, they were going to be looking for a throw in, a free kick or a corner.

"I wanted to get him on anyway, and he was delighted with that. The lads were all delighted for him, as I am, as the staff is. He’s been a big part of the club, and everybody loves him here.”

With his contract set to expire at the end of June and his future uncertain, the former Leeds and Trabzonspor defender assured fans that the club will improve on its performances next season.

“One more step forward. In a fight like mine, every little victory counts,” Bamba wrote on Instagram.

“I am more than blessed to have achieved this today, even if I wished the fans were there too. No worries we will still catch up next season.

“Thank you for the unlimited love & support, to my teammates, to the staff and to everyone around.”