AMSTERDAM – Steve Cherundolo made his long-awaited return to action with 45 minutes and a goal in Hannover 96's 16-1 exhibition waltz through amateur mites TSV Barsinghausen on Friday.
The US international, who was originally slated to be back in late August before requiring a follow-up knee procedure, worked the benefit match's first half. Four minutes before the break, Cherundolo stepped up to net a penalty kick to put the Reds up 9-1.
"He is very important for the team as captain," Hannover assistant coach Nestor El Maestro told the club website. "He has come through the game well and gave a solid performance."
Cherundolo, now the longest-serving one-club man in the Bundesliga, could make his competitive return when Die Roten visit Borussia Dortmund a week from Sunday. Despite missing the veteran right back for the first eight games of the season, Hannover currently stand in fifth place.