Liverpool, May 25: Andre Gomes says it is an "honour" to play for Everton after being helped by the club during his time in need as he battled back from an horrific injury.
The Portugal international returned to action in February's 3-2 loss to Arsenal, just 112 days after fracturing his ankle following a challenge from Tottenham's Son Heung-min.
Gomes has previously thanked the quick-thinking of Everton's club doctor for ensuring a rapid recovery, and the 26-year-old is grateful to represent the Merseyside team.
Speaking after Everton were granted planning permission to build a mental health facility, Gomes is quoted by Sky Sports as saying: "It's really good news.
"I think it is really important, especially now with the pandemic. People have more issues, probably. I think it's really good.
I would prefer to write after a win, but just need to say it loud... THANK YOU to everyone who showed me love in those 4 tough months, specially to you Evertonians. You gave me extra energy to push myself to the limit and come back stronger @Everton pic.twitter.com/2IgRDpGLeU— André Gomes (@aftgomes) February 23, 2020
"It is an honour to be part of the club. Such a special club with all these types of opportunities.
"For me, during my rehab it was important to have the physios, the club and people around me to give me a hand if I needed something.
"I was a lucky person that I had that, but some people don't have that.
"Sometimes people have their own issues and don't have people on the side to help. The club is doing a really good job to try to help everybody that needs it."
Gomes' comeback was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, with the former Barcelona man making only three appearances before the Premier League was brought to a halt.
And he acknowledges it felt strange running out for March's 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Goodison Park, the scene of his sickening injury.
"It was weird to go back," he said. "[I had] a huge welcome back from the fans. The last time I played at home was when I got injured.
"It was in the memory. It was a mix of feeling 'I am back' but the last game I played at home was weird.
"I felt good and I was trying to improve my game and help the team. Unfortunately, we lost to Chelsea and then there was the break."