Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has admitted he is no longer concerned by his nasty Achilles injury and is simply relishing the chance to play football again.
Now 25, Loftus-Cheek is shining back at Stamford Bridge after a challenging few years. He picked up the serious injury in May 2019 and did not return for over 12 months, after which he failed to set the world on fire out on loan with Fulham.
Thomas Tuchel gave the midfielder a route back into the first team at Chelsea and Loftus-Cheek has not looked back since. In Tuesday's 1-0 win over Malmo - his first Champions League appearance in six years - Loftus-Cheek was the star of the show and proved why so many fans want to see him kept in the starting lineup.
"I feel good physically and mentally I’ve left my injury behind," Loftus-Cheek said after the game (via the club's official website). "It doesn’t even come into my head now. I’m playing freely and I can concentrate on football and football only so I’m in a good place.
"I’ll try to keep developing. I’m grateful for the time on the pitch that I have and I’ll just keep giving my best."
During the game, Chelsea were dominant but struggled to assert themselves in the final third, with the only goal of the game coming from Callum Hudson-Odoi's perfect cross for Hakim Ziyech early in the second half.
"The whole team grew into the game," Loftus-Cheek continued. "We started to get used to where we could find space and where the gaps were to penetrate so we could create chances.
"It was tough for us to break them down and on another day, we would come away with a lot more goals but three points in the main thing.
"Goals like ours will break down any team with the way we played it, the give-and-gos, it’s hard to stop. With the pace of Callum as well and Hakim arriving in the box, that’s what we do in training and he’s finished it really well."