Ferguson could not hide his joy after completing 75 minutes with the Under-23s side against Chelsea at the Academy, telling Palace TV that he cannot wait to be back in a Palace shirt.
“I'm so thankful to have made it through," he told Palace's website after the game, his first lengthy return to action after a cameo appearance against Tottenham Hotspur on Boxing Day. “It was a very tough journey. I can only be grateful, I can only be pleased. You can see out there my passion – I'm so happy to be back.
“I'll be honest, I was grateful, but I didn't feel this happy about the Spurs one. I'm going to be honest, I didn't. But here it felt like I played – I properly sweated in a Palace shirt, I've soaked it in!
“I'm very happy for my family, because they've seen me so down that it's been a rough time for them as well, and my friends. My teammates have actually been with me through the whole situation, even the ones that have moved on now.
“I can only say thank you."
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