Valencia on the up
Antonio Valencia admits he is nearly back to his best after missing five months of the season through injury.
Last Updated: 10/05/11 1:07pm
Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia admits he is nearly back to his best after missing five months of the season following a horror injury.
The Ecuador international suffered a broken and dislocated left ankle after falling awkwardly in The Red Devils' UEFA Champions League clash with Rangers in September.
Valencia has been back in action for the club for the past two months and having initially feared that he would not return the same player, he has been delighted with his form.
The long-term injury has helped the former Wigan Athletic man develop a new love for the game and he now appreciates every training session and match more than ever.
"At first I thought my speed might decrease permanently but I spoke to the physio and he assured me I was going to make a complete recovery, which gave me a lot of confidence," Valencia told The Sun.
"When I was injured I would sit at home watching the matches and think 'If I were in that position, I'd do this or that'. Previously, the longest I'd been out was about three months and this was more than five months, so it was tough.
"But now I'm back at nearly 100 per cent and I'm happy to be involved in these big games. Training with the lads and playing at an exciting time of the season - it doesn't get any better than that.
"Football is my whole life and perhaps I didn't really appreciate that before the injury, or even while I was out. Now I enjoy every training session and every match."