Ajax Amsterdam defender Daley Blind returned to action for the first time since undergoing a heart operation by making a substitute appearance in Wednesday’s 3-0 Dutch Cup win over Vitesse Arnhem.

Blind was diagnosed with heart muscle inflammation after suffering from dizziness in a Champions League game against Valencia in December.

The 29-year-old Dutchman was fitted with a subcutaneous implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, which sends electrical pulses to regulate abnormal heart rhythms, and he made a surprise return to first-team training last week.

“I am really happy to be back on the pitch,” Blind, who came off the bench in the 77th minute, told Fox Sports Netherlands.

“I had a little bit of tension beforehand because you don’t know how it will go.

“The doctor really needed to hold me back and step on the brakes because I wanted to get back ASAP. I wasn’t scared at all, I wanted to get back on the pitch as fast as possible.”