Burnley boss Vincent Kompany has expressed his “immense joy” at seeing Lyle Foster back in action and enjoying the game.
The Clarets released a statement in November that said forward Foster was receiving specialist care for his mental health.
After an absence of eight matches in all competitions, the 23-year-old South Africa international made a comeback appearance on December 16 against Everton, and Saturday saw him score for the first time since that return, in the 3-2 loss at Aston Villa.
Kompany told a press conference: “(My feeling is) immense joy very specifically for Lyle Foster’s situation.
“We were dealing with a human tragedy really…such a good lad as well.
“To see him get back up, and just enjoying the game, not even the goal, just enjoying the game, being out there on the pitch with his team-mates, smiling after the game – for me I can go away from being a manager, just as a human being, I’m really happy to be part of this moment.”
He added: “We were in a really dark space. It’s mental health…severe, severe depression.
“We did everything we could to help him, support him. We put his case first and all the other interests last, just worried about him.
“So when you go through this at a club as human beings and you see him come the other end of it, all I hope is he is going to stay like this. That’s all I want. I can take a lot of joy out of witnessing it.”
The finish by Foster – who had earlier had an effort disallowed for offside – that made it 2-2 in the 71st minute at Villa Park took him to four Premier League goals for the season.