Craig Bellamy has revealed West Ham team-mate Kieron Dyer inspired him to recover from yet another injury setback.
The pair were previously together at Newcastle, and they have spent more time in each other's company than usual in recent months as both have worked to come back from serious knee injuries.
Bellamy said: "We've both been doing three sessions a day to try to get back. We're both pretty competitive people so we've really been pushing each other to see who can do the most in a workout."
He added: "If we're running I want to run further than him and if we're rowing I want to row for longer.
"You get really into it and it helps keep you going. We've both driven each other on."
Bellamy's latest injury saw him undergo the seventh knee operation of his career at the age of just 29, and he freely admits all of his problems have taken their toll.
He has even fitted an oxygen tent at home in a bid to prolong his career. But even with the aid of the latest medical technology, Bellamy believes he does not have more than four years left in him.
He said: "I'll get to 33 and see what my body tells me but it has taken a battering.
"There have been some real lows and it really takes it out of you. Not just the injuries, but the surgeries and the rehabs are really tough times. The pain every day is tough to take.
"But I'm not worried that I've lost any pace. As soon as I could do any strenuous running I was working on my speed because it's such a large part of my game. I'll be just the same as I was."
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