Wilfred Ndidi has told the story of how tough it was for him to go through a long-term injury as he continues on the road to peak fitness levels.
The Leicester City and Super Eagles midfielder spent several months on the sidelines last season, missing numerous matches for club and country.
He was out of the Africa Cup of Nations for Nigeria in January and missed 17 matches for Leicester City as he nursed a knee injury.
“It was a difficult time,” he told the latest edition of Leicester City’s official magazine ‘CITY’, which will be on sale tonight before their Premier League home fixture against Manchester United.
“I just tried to keep my head down, be positive and work myself back into playing – and here we are. I’m really, really happy and it’s just me appreciating time and appreciating the game.
“Of course, they are frustrating times because I really wanted to be on the pitch. But I tried to just focus on my rehab and recovery. That (the club’s facilities) really helped a lot. Having to have different equipment for different injuries was really, really good.
“It also helps with the mindset because knowing the fact that when you come in you have all the facilities and all the equipment to be able to do what you actually want to do, I think that speeds up the recovery which is really good.”
Leicester City are yet to win any of their first four Premier League fixtures this season, but they are unbeaten in the last five games against United, who have won their last two games in the league.
The 25-year-old Nigeria international reckons that it is an impressive recent record against the visitors, but believes Leicester still need to be at their best to get a result tonight.
“We have to look forward to it,” he added. “We have to get something out of it and we have to believe in ourselves. Every game is not easy in the Premier League.
“I am expecting a very, very difficult game because they’ve got the confidence now. The first win would be a massive win because we’re hungry for it.
“That would give us more confidence going forward. We know what we have to do though and if we could that would be very good for us. The fans will be there to cheer us and will be there to see us give our all. When it comes to supporting us, I think the fans are brilliant. I am hoping for a very positive atmosphere and that would help us for sure.”
Ndidi has started and played full time in three of Leicester City’s four Premier League games this season and came on in the last minute in the other one.