Manchester United star Nemanja Matic has admitted he played through the pain barrier during the last season, revealing the reason why he couldn’t give his best.
The Serbian didn’t appear to be injured but apparently dealt with his issue rather privately until this summer.
Following his country’s exit from the group stages, Matic soon rejoined his United teammates for pre-season.
However, he didn’t last long, soon deciding to undergo surgery to permanently solve his problem.
Perhaps with his injury now behind him, Red Devils’ fans can start to see him return to his peak.
According to the Daily Mail, Nemanja said: “I’d had this injury for a few months and, when I went to America, in the first training session, I didn’t feel well and I asked the doctor to see what he could do.
“I had the operation in Philadelphia as, after the scan, the doctor recommended surgery as the only way to fix the problem. I feel good now.
“I could see I couldn’t give my best because this injury was serious. It was painful so I needed to fix it.
“Sometimes, you can play through the pain and I played the last few months of the season with the pain but I think, for this season, it was better to fix the problem.
“I didn’t want to spend time during the season fixing it as I need to be ready for the season that we have.”
Andreas Pereira had successfully filled in for Matic during his absence but it was clear the moment he returned he would once again be the first choice.
The Belgian though did enough to impress and will certainly prove to be a reliable back-up option in case anything happens.
Jose Mourinho clearly likes Pereira as well and believes he has a future at Manchester United if he can remain patient.
Marouane Fellaini has also played fairly well in recent matches, making him an unlikely candidate for the defensive midfield role as well.
The midfielder’s height and physical ability has proven useful in protecting United’s otherwise flimsy defence.