Manchester United midfielder Antonio Valencia feels he is now approaching his best form after returning from the injury that has kept him out for most of the season.
The 25-year-old Ecuadorian international spent over five months on the sidelines, after suffering a horror break and dislocation of his left ankle in a Champions League group stage encounter against Rangers back in September.
Having made his comeback against Arsenal in the FA Cup quarter-final clash at Old Trafford in March, Valencia has gone from strength-to-strength, rediscovering the form that prompted United to pay £16million to secure the services of the former Wigan Athletic winger.
Valencia feared he would not return the same player, but over the past two months has arguably performed better than ever to help assist United in their push for a domestic and European double.
"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," he said.
"Previously, the longest I'd been out was about three months and this was more than five months, so it was tough.
"Now I'm back at nearly 100 per cent and I'm happy to be involved in these big games."
The time spent away from the game has not only given Valencia a new lease of, but also a new outlook on life as he looks to end the season on a high.
"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 single match."