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Juventus defender Stephan Lichtsteiner scores goal in first game back from heart surgery

Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images

Even before the official starting lineups were announced, the rumors started picking up steam regarding Stephan Lichtsteiner coming back to the starting lineup. This was a big deal considering what he's dealt with health-wise over the last month or so — having to be checked into the hospital after Juve's win over Genoa because he had trouble breathing and then subsequently undergoing heart surgery.

But you couldn't have written a better script when it came to Juventus' first goal after the Old Lady fell behind 1-0.

Paul Pogba with the chip to a sprinting Lichtsteiner over the top of the defense. And just as was the case when Andrea Prilo used to drop him dimes over the top, the Swiss Express finished it — this time, off the volley to even the score against Borussia Monchengladbach just before halftime.

Juventus looked dead in the water for the better part of the first 30 minutes against Gladbach. But to get a goal right before the half not only energized them, but certainly gave them plenty of hope entering the second half. And, to have it be courtesy of Lichtsteiner, who missed 30 days due to the aforementioned heart surgery, is just as good of a moment as you can get. Not a bad way to mark your return to the starting lineup. And not a bad way to punch heart surgery right in the face and show us he's the same old Lichtsteiner we've come to know and love over the past five years.