Arjen Robben lasted just 29 minutes of his comeback match at Groningen on Sunday before being forced off by injury in a disappointing start to his return at his boyhood club.
Robben has had a career beset by injuries and the latest looked to be a pulled hamstring, suffered as he sprinted to chase a potential pass against PSV Eindhoven on the opening weekend of the new Eredivisie season.
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The 36-year-old retired last year while at Bayern Munich but in June announced a sensational comeback at the club where he began his professional career as a teenager.
He said he had an itch to return to the game. His return to Groningen came as a lift to the provincial club, hoping for a positive impact from the veteran, who won 12 league titles in a glittering career at PSV Eindhoven, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern, and 96 caps for his country.
But the much-anticipated comeback ended in a familiar sight with Robben feeling a suspected muscle pull and then quickly signalling to the bench that he needed to be replaced.
He limped off, ripping off his shirt in frustration.