Crewe have signed ex-Millwall, Tranmere and Leicester defender Zoumana Bakayogo on a deal until the end of the season.
The left-back, 29, has not played since rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament 37 minutes into his debut on loan at Yeovil in January 2014.
"It's great credit to him for battling back," said Alex boss Steve Davis. "After two operations he's been out two years but no-one has worked as hard."
Bakayogo could make his debut for Crewe at Swindon on Saturday.
The French-born former Ivory Coast Under-23 international was released in the summer by Leicester, for whom he managed just two League Cup appearances after leaving Tranmere to join the Foxes in July 2013.
Bakayogo, who still has a home on Merseyside from his time with Tranmere, has made the hour-long daily journey to the League One club's Reaseheath training ground in a bid to get his career going again.
"We knew he was a good player, he is a terrific lad and has been great around the place," added Davis. "It's great credit to him because we didn't pay him one penny all the time he was here.
"It restores some faith in football - that it's not about money and greed, but a footballer loving the game and trying to come back for his career. He still has some time on his side."
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