Valencia relives injury hell
Antonio Valencia thought his Man Utd career was over when he suffered a horror injury in September.
By Hayley Paterson
Last Updated: 12/03/11 12:11pm
Antonio Valencia has admitted he thought his football career was over when he suffered a horror injury six months ago.
The Manchester United winger dislocated his ankle and suffered ligament damage in an innocuous challenge from Rangers midfielder Kirk Broadfoot during a UEFA Champions League encounter.
The Red Devils winger was in obvious agony as he was carried from the field breathing oxygen from a cylinder and had a bone sticking out of his leg.
But the Ecuador international's recovery is looking three months ahead of schedule and the 25-year-old even thought he would be ready to face Arsenal in the FA Cup quarter-final.
The former Wigan winger is still clinging on to a bigger dream of walking out at Wembley in May for both the FA Cup and Champions League finals having been out of action since September.
"The injury was the worst moment of my career," he told The Sun.
"The pain was terrific. I remember the impact on the ankle, a big crack and a feeling of seasickness that must have been down to the pain and the effect on my nerves.
"My whole family suffered, especially my mother. Everyone I know was watching on TV and lived this horrible experience with me from a distance.
"Believe me, I never want to see a replay of what happened. At that moment I believed my career had ended but the doctors promised me I would return and I felt happier.
"Broadfoot offered his apologies to me and I accepted. The surgery was perfect and also my rehabilitation."
Valencia was "grateful" for United's club chaplain John Boyers and the Old Trafford faithful, who he said had played a vital part in his recovery.
United are looking a little light on the ground when it comes to selecting a right winger, particularly after in-form winger Nani was been ruled out for three weeks and Park Ji-sung is still sidelined.
Sir Alex Ferguson's men face key games against Marseille in Europe and Bolton, Fulham and West Ham in the Premier League, however Valencia believes he could fill that void if called upon.
"In the last few weeks, United have not wanted to risk me - but I'll be ready to play if the coach wants me," he said.
"Now my dream is to repeat the form I was in last season, to play in the FA Cup final at Wembley and also the Champions League final. That will compensate for my injury."