something and strived to achieve something, have an edge over people who have had everything done for them or who’ve experienced everything going their way. You learn a lot from the difficult situations in life, and I’ve learnt a lot. There were days when I’d struggle to do an exercise, or when my knee would be really sore, and I’d just think about the times when I was trying to bend my knee just five degrees – they were big victories along the way, and that inspired me and spurred me on. You could see the progression that I was making and I tried to use that as motivation.
How did you fill your time between training? Did you pick up any new hobbies?
Just before I left England I bought about ten DVDs expecting that I’d have all this free time… I didn’t watch one of them! I was just so focused on my rehab, all I did was eat, sleep and train. I read a few books, but I was just totally consumed with what I had to do. You would have thought you’d have all this spare time – I didn’t have any! I was training at every opportunity. That was all I had time for.
What was the reaction of the United players when you came back recently?
It’s been great. That was one of the things that I really missed, being with the guys in the dressing room. There is such a great energy around this club, and that’s not just the players. It’s everyone that works here. There are so many people who’ve been here a long time. It’s a unique place, especially for such a competitive environment. The reception was great. It’s fantastic being around the lads, the different characters and personalities. It helps.
And finally, what will it be like when you’re standing in the tunnel at Old Trafford waiting to run out on the pitch again?
[Pauses and smiles] It will be amazing. I’ll be so excited I’ll probably pass out!