Leandro Castan has 'goosebumps' ahead of Roma return after brain op

Roma defender Leandro Castan says he is itching to make his return to action seven months after requiring brain surgery.

Castan, 28, was diagnosed with a cavernoma -- an abnormal swelling of blood vessels in the brain -- after reporting sensations of dizziness last September.

He was forced to leave the field of play halfway through the Giallorossi's 1-0 win over Empoli and has not returned to the field since.

That comeback is now getting closer with Castan reporting for preseason training on Tuesday.

"I hope I'm ready for the first game of the season," Castan told RAI television from Roma's summer training camp.

"I also want to be able to strike fear in my opponents and other clubs' fans again. This is exactly why I decided not to go on holiday -- to get back as soon as possible.

"I was hoping to be back even sooner, but now I cannot wait to be playing again, to run out at the [Stadio] Olimpico again. Just the thought of it gives me goosebumps."

When Castan does return it will mark the end of almost a year in which the Brazilian's career was hanging in the balance.

"When they told me the bad news, they gave me two options," Castan said. "Either I should quit football altogether or undergo [brain] surgery. I had considered the former, of going back to Brazil and seeing how things went.

"The fact I am still here is down to [Roma's director of sport Walter] Sabatini, who told me that I had to stay right from the very first day because he wanted me still to be a footballer."

Castan has also received support from Alessandro Del Piero, who published a tweet on Tuesday wishing him luck on his return to training.

"I've already thanked him for that," Castan said. "The world needs people like him, who live football with fair play. Now I just want to get back to my former levels and help Roma win some trophies because that is the aim at the end of the day.

"One thing's for sure, though -- if we have 40 games to play this season, I want to play in 45 of them."