Mamady Sidibe was fearful that he might never play again, after the centre forward snapped his Achilles tendon for the second time at the start of the year.
For six months Sidibe had been working on recovering for his first injury, and when the second occurred, he believed he may have been out of action for good.
And now, as he continues his recovery trail and featured for Stoke's reserves side last weekend, the 31-year-old expressed relief at being past some of the most difficult moments of his career.
"When I did it the second time I didn't know what was going to happen," he told the official Stoke website.
"It is very rare to do the Achilles twice. The operation was bigger and I was in doubt if I was going to play again.
"It was really difficult but I kept working with the physio and did a lot of work to give me the confidence I could play again. Now everything is starting to get back to normal and I am really happy."
Sidibe now wants to repay Tony Pulis’ faith in him, with the Stoke manager sticking by the forward through an injury that has taken over a year in total to recover from.
"That is a very big boost,” he explained of Pulis’ support. “The gaffer has been great with me since I have been at the club.
"I could just say 'thank you' to him but the only but the only way I can thank him is to play well when he calls me to play.
"That is the only thing I can do but it is very good to be in the squad."
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