Sebastian Haller returns for Borussia Dortmund after recovering from testicular cancer

Sebastien Haller returned for Borussia Dortmund six months after he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Greeted by a roar from the famous “Yellow Wall” of fans, Haller entered as a 62nd-minute substitute in his return after cancer treatment that included two operations and chemotherapy.

Six months ago, Haller received a diagnosis during pre-season training that turned his life upside down and put in doubt his playing career. The long-delayed debut — Haller was diagnosed less than a month after signing from Ajax — brought a standing ovation from the crowd of more than 81,000.

“Great feeling, of course, especially with this welcome, with the atmosphere, the win,” Haller said. “Everything went well — except a goal, of course. It will come.”

The former West Ham and Eintracht Frankfurt striker couldn’t mark his debut with a goal, let alone the hat trick he scored in a friendly last week, but he did not look at all out of place as a replacement for 18-year-old emerging star Youssoufa Moukoko, who signed a new contract on Saturday.

Haller required chemotherapy and two operations, the second of them in late November, after he was told in July that he had testicular cancer. The diagnosis came two weeks after Haller joined Dortmund and before he played a game.

Dortmund signed Haller from Ajax in the hope he could replace prolific scorer Erling Haaland after the Norwegian was sold to Manchester City.

The French-born Haller led the Dutch league last season with 21 goals and scored 11 more during Ajax’s run to the round of 16 in the Champions League.

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