Schalke fans overwhelm Farfan after layoff

Jefferson Farfan hailed the "overwhelming" welcome he received from Schalke fans after returning to the pitch on Saturday.

Apart from five minutes off the bench against Eintracht Frankfurt on April 11, 2014, Farfan was out of action for almost 13 months with a knee injury until he was subbed on in Schalke's 1-0 loss to Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.

Farfan made his first appearance this term when he replaced Max Meyer at the Veltins Arena, and the Peru international conceded it was an intense moment for him mentally.

"I was a bit nervous, which is probably normal after being sidelined for so long," Farfan told Schalke's website.

"The reception I received when I came onto the pitch was overwhelming. I quickly relaxed as I got into the game.

"I'm really pleased to finally be back on the pitch."

The 30-year-old injured his knee against Basel in the UEFA Champions League in October 2013, and missed the next four Bundesliga matches.

After returning against Werder Bremen on November 9, 2013, he played 12 straight league games, but following Schalke's 5-1 loss at Bayern Munich on March 1, 2014, he played just five minutes before Saturday's fixture.

The veteran's cameo against Frankfurt last term included a goal in a 2-0 triumph, while he also sat on the bench in Schalke's final game of the 2013-14 season against Nuremberg but saw no action.

Farfan was full of praise for Schalke's fans, when asked what he missed the most during his time on the sidelines.

"I really missed the atmosphere in the stadium with our amazing fans and obviously not being able to train or play with the ball," he said.

"Footballers always want to be playing."