Malaga striker Julio Baptista has admitted he is desperate to return to football after surgery on his Achilles tendon last week.
The former Sevilla, Real Madrid, Arsenal and Roma player had been sidelined with a toe injury since last October after scoring a spectacular winner in a 3-2 home defeat of Getafe, yet this new problem means he will be out of action for a further four months.
Nonetheless, the 30-year-old Brazilian insists he has had no thoughts of quitting after almost nine months of inactivity.
“I am a strong person at all times and I’ve had some difficult moments, but I will never give up,” he told a Press conference.
“It’s a test to prove to myself that I can do things. That’s the most important thing and I know it will be difficult, but I’ve never thought of ending my career because sometimes things happen that we can’t predict.”
Baptista recognised that the months of doing almost nothing had been hard, although he wanted to clarify the two injuries he had suffered.
“I am desperate to get back to full fitness because the hardest part is not doing something you like, and that for me has not been easy,” he confessed.
“It’s been nine months without playing, of always trying to recover and do everything possible, with two physiotherapy sessions every day.
“Many things have been said but I want to make it clear the two injuries were entirely different.
“The first was a fractured sesamoid [a pea-shaped bone beneath the big toe joint], which I had for four months, and the other we thought was the calf muscle but turned out to be the tendon.”