Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has stated that he never felt he would leave the club after the World Cup.
The Italy No.1 suffered a dismal tournament, sustaining a slipped disc in the Azzurri's opening game against Paraguay to miss the following group games, which saw the 2006 winners finish bottom of Group F.
The 32-year-old underwent surgery on his back following the injury, but admitted he has no idea exactly when he will return to the first team.
"My back is much better. It has only been a few days since the operation, but the fact I can walk fairly well and have more strength in my left foot are comforting signs," he told Sky Sport Italia.
"It is such a delicate operation that you cannot afford to make long-term plans on the recovery. When a nerve gets involved, it is a tricky piece of tissue that doesn't always heal at the same rate. Let's just say that within 12 months I'll be back."
Regarding his future at Juve, Buffon was adamant that he was happy to stay at the Stadio Olimpico, despite reported interest from Manchester United, Manchester City and Bayern Munich in his services.
"I didn't reject any offer because I never even thought of leaving Juventus," he added.
"When that intention isn't there, it's pointless to look at proposals or know someone is interested in you. I believe the love shown daily by Juve fans is something grand and priceless."
Reflecting on the World Cup experience, Buffon admitted that it had been a difficult one following their victorious campaign in 2006, but revealed that his presence would have made little difference to the overall outcome.
"In South Africa we saw the other side of the coin," Buffon continued.
"Clearly it was difficult to experience what we felt in 2006 again, but none of us expected to go out in the first round.
"I don't think my presence would've made any difference, as my replacement Federico Marchetti did everything he was supposed to. In the 20 minutes with Andrea Pirlo on the pitch we certainly saw a different Italy.
"Marcello Lippi has his own ideas - unlike many people - and with them has often won, sometimes lost. That's true of everyone in football, but he has remained consistent.
"Now we hope Cesare Prandelli can raise Italy again and I aim to lend a hand. Hopefully I'll never be a burden."