Ruben Loftus-Cheek has revealed his ankle injury left him unable to leave the house, but support from the fans kept his spirits up.
The Chelsea midfielder sustained a ruptured Achilles tendon in a friendly against New England Revolution in May, before undergoing surgery in the summer and the 23-year-old reveals he has had to learn to walk all over again in a gruelling return to fitness.
“To be honest I didn’t leave my house much, especially as I’ve been on crutches,” he told Wowhydrate.
“I’ve just been playing on my Xbox, I’ve been on holiday once, it wasn’t great as my leg was in the cast so I couldn’t swim and it was really warm.
“When [the injury] happened I turned and pushed off and I heard a clap, it was really loud and I thought someone had smashed me from behind. The referee gave a free kick, he blew the whistle so he must have been close to me, but watching the tape back nobody was near me.
“As soon as I came out of my cast, I could barely lift my heel off the ground in a sitting position.
“To lift my leg up took maximum effort, with a big injury it’s really hard, you don’t see a difference everyday, you don’t wake up and think it’s a lot better every morning, it’s over a period of time. It’s more exciting the closer I get to making my comeback, the more I keep pushing I will be there soon.”
Loftus-Cheek, who played for England at the 2018 World Cup will have been buoyed by seeing team-mate Callum Hudson-Odoi returning to first team action after a lengthy spell on the sidelines, and joked he enjoyed having his sister run around after him.
“The big side of injuries is the mental side of it, so I had to stay positive and keep the right mind set. Even a tweet or a message from a fan makes a big difference to me. I’ve been at home with my mum, two brothers and my sister, they needed to look after me a lot, it was hard getting around in my cast. It was quite fun getting my sister to make me food all the time!
“My family have been fantastic through that period.
“When you have a good day you get excited, getting that much closer to getting back on the pitch again playing football, getting back in the gym and pushing it, so we will see how it goes.”
Loftus-Cheek enjoyed a breakthrough season last term and scored ten goals in 40 appearances, signing a new five-year contract in July.
With a number of youth team players being given a chance under Frank Lampard, he is relishing being able to get back into action.
“I’ve actually had a few setbacks that have put me behind which has been quite frustrating to be honest.
“I’ve had to learn to walk again and I’ve only just got pain free but for sure I’m going to come back stronger, sharper and do whatever I can to be in better shape.
“Before I got injured I was playing my best football. I’ve missed feeling tired from running, from hard work, that feeling of being in a game again.
“Everything I’ve been working towards is for the feeling of stepping back onto that pitch again and I’m ready to go.”
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