Former Paraguay striker Salvador Cabanas has made his professional comeback 27 months after being shot in the head in a Mexico City bar.
The 31-year-old turned out for Paraguayan third division 12 de Octubre, the club where he began his career in 1997, on the opening day of the Primera B third-tier championship.
Fans flocked to the Juan Canuto Pettengill stadium, braving bad weather to see Cabanas, who still has the bullet lodged in his brain because doctors fear removing it could be fatal.
Cabanas, a leading player for Mexican side America at the time of the shooting, was in the starting line-up for 12 de Octubre's match against Martin Ledesma, a 2-0 win, and played for 40 minutes before being substituted.
He took corner-kicks and was not afraid to tussle for the ball but he was slow to react to his markers and the crowd held their breath when he fell after challenging for the ball with his head but he was quickly back on his feet.
The January 2010 shooting occurred in the restroom of a Mexico City bar during an argument with an alleged drugs dealer, who was arrested last year.
Cabanas, who missed the 2010 World Cup in South Africa where he was expected to shine for quarter-finalists Paraguay, first moved abroad in 2000 when he joined Chilean first division side Audax Italiano.
From there he moved to Chiapas in Mexico in 2003 and was transferred to the Azteca-based America in the Mexican capital in 2006.
He played for his country at 2006 World Cup in Germany and was top scorer in the South American Libertadores Cup with America in 2007 and 2008.comments