Joe Thompson: Rochdale midfielder returns to action after recovering from cancer
Rochdale midfielder Joe Thompson has returned to football after recovering from cancer for a second time.
He came off the bench for the final 18 minutes of the 1-1 draw with Walsall.
It is the first time the 28-year-old has been involved in a game since Dale's 2-2 draw with MK Dons in March.
"There's been a lot of work done behind closed doors. I'm delighted to have made it back onto the pitch," he told BBC Radio Manchester.
"Initially it was a bit stop-start. For about six weeks I was still feeling the side effects of the chemotherapy and treatment. I slowly got back in with the physio and then it was a case of 'let's see if you can do a walk' and then a bike and from there it was 'let's see if you can run'.
"Then it was football-specific movements because I was a bit stiff to say the least. Then I built up the muscles to the point that I could participate in training and now it's about trying to get the match sharpness.
"I wouldn't want any sympathy. The banter was flying and as I got into training, no one is holding back on tackles I can tell you that."