Ghana captain, Stephen Appiah believes time spent on the sidelines has toughened him up for the challenges ahead as he continues his comeback programme.
The Black Stars player has spent a lengthy time off the pitch after months of rehabilitation from an injury since the end of November last year.
However, the midfielder says he has drawn much inspiration from his long absence from the pitch and will return to the field a stronger and better player after spending eight months on the sidelines.
“I am happy just to be alive after the injury. I was complaining of asthma after surgery last year, but it was not that. I missed an injection and blood went into my lungs. Football was not the most important thing. I nearly lost my life.
“Sometimes when things happen, you can be knocked off if you are not strong mentally. But I am strong mentally and I never give up which is why I am still going strong,” he told Happy FM, a local radio station.
He describes the last months as some of the most difficult for him but is adamant he will not rush a comeback.
“I have been so worried that I can hardly watch football. I wish so often that I am on the field, but I don’t brood over some things. I know when the time is right I will enjoy my football again. There are ups and downs. The most important thing is not to give up because I have given it my all to be able to come back.”
“Stephen can play again but when I will return will remain a surprise. I don’t want to rush the comeback. I want everything to be gradual. I have been out for one year and I understand it will take time to get my rhythm back.”
The optimistic Ghana captain might be in search of a new club now after leaving Fenerbahce last week but says, his priority is to get back onto the field first.
“I have been in Italy training for about a month now. I am through with my pre-season training.
“Everything is going well and very soon you will see me again on the football field.”
Appiah adds that he has received much support from his national team colleagues during the difficult period.
“I speak to many of players every day. Essien, Kingston, all of them have done a great deal for me. They have encouraged me a lot with their phone calls and text messages, he said. I feel I must keep going to justify the confidence they have in me because they have been there for me.”