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Christian Eriksen Celebrates 30th Birthday By Playing In First Game Since Collapse

Eriksen got an assist while lasting 60 minutes for Brentford in a friendly.

Christian Eriksen's inspiring return to the pitch took a massive step forward Monday as the midfielder made his first appearance since suffering an on-field cardiac arrest and recorded an assist in Brentford's friendly victory over fifth-tier club Southend United. To make things even better, Eriksen was celebrating his 30th birthday.

After being fitted with a heart-starting device known as an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD), Eriksen terminated his contract with Inter Milan back in December while continuing to work on his fitness with former club Ajax.

Brentford, currently 14th in the Premier League, announced Eriksen's free agent signing on Jan. 31 and the Danish international began training with the first-team on Feb. 7.

The club drew 0-0 with Crystal Palace on Saturday in EPL play, but Eriksen returned to action Monday, eight months after collapsing during the European Championship, in a behind-closed-doors friendly that saw him log 60 minutes on the pitch and create one for Josh Dasilva.

Eriksen says he has no fear playing with the ICD and that he's ultimately targeting a spot on Denmark's World Cup squad.

Brentford's next match is Saturday away to Arsenal, but the current plan is to have Eriksen play in one more warm-up friendly before returning against Newcastle on Saturday, Feb. 26.

"I'm taking it one day at a time and seeing how I feel," Eriksen recently told Sky Sports News. "Every day it gets easier and easier to join in with the level of intensity, running-wise and technical-wise. (My debut) it won't be far off. Let's see what happens. With this (device), you are more safe than anyone else. It was pretty early in the hospital I was told that, with an ICD there are no limits."

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