Eric Bailly has opened up on the difficulty he’s had with his injury as he makes up for lost time in a Manchester United shirt.
The defender made his first appearance of the season against Chelsea last month as he begins to re-establish himself in United’s first XI.
Had it not been for a knee injury sustained against Tottenham in pre-season he may well be part of a centre-half partnership alongside Harry Maguire.
And even though the Ivorian has described his recovery as “really good” he concedes his experience was amongst the worst things that could’ve happened to him.
He told ESPN : “It was such a difficult time. I was basically injured for almost a year and that’s the worst thing that can happen to a footballer or any athlete.
“But anyway, as I always say, when something bad happens you have to hope for something good to come your way and during that time, when I was recuperating, I had people that helped me with the physical aspect and my family too.
“I had to be strong, especially mentally strong and I’ve done it and now all that bad stuff is behind me. Thank goodness for that.
“The most difficult part was the moment that you get that injury, and when I say injuries I mean that there are different levels of an injury.
“There are injuries that can keep you out for one week, others that keep you out for less and others that will keep you out for a lot more. And in my case, it was almost five months, and to hear that, honestly it was very difficult.
“But like I said, mentally, I had to be strong. I knew what I had to do to recover well and I listened to the advice from everyone that was helping me and here I am, and I’m doing well.
“If you’ve not been playing for a long time in a league as strong as this one, the truth is that it’s hard. Imagine with an injury as long as mine too. But the truth is, I’ve been lucky with my teammates to have their help and support and I had a phenomenal return.
“It was a difficult match against Chelsea, my first match back, and thank God that we won and well, I’m very happy.”