Injury has changed Julio Baptista

Julio Baptista has reflected that his return from another lengthy injury lay-off will see him now try and make the most of every day he plays.

The Brazilian came off the bench at the weekend for Malaga to make a first appearance since October 2011, after requiring surgery on an Achilles tendon injury.

The striker nicknamed The Beast has enthused that he is ready to start a new chapter in his career and enjoy it as much as possible.

“Many times I have dreamt of returning. I did not know how it would be. I was like a child, nervous,” reflected Baptista to Marca this week, when asked of his return.

“After all this time it was incredible for me. After suffering so much, I enjoy it more. I will now try to enjoy it more.

“I have to thank the fans because I didn’t imagine I’d be back. The welcome and the love was an amazing thing. It is a heartfelt thanks and hopefully they will enjoy me as I was before.

“Can I avoid a relapse? Right now things are going fine. I’m training well, at the rhythm of the team and now I have to rediscover my shape, with minutes, to help the team.

“Now the Coach has to look to me. He must determine if I am right or tired, if I can play 30 or 40 minutes.

“I’ll need to play more minutes so as to soon play a whole game. I can tell you that in playing 20 minutes I was left short. But it was a joy to play football again, something incredible.

“Was this all a bad dream? No, I am a strong believer and I think everything is for a reason. I had to go through this stage of my life. I will give more stenght to move forward and face my profession differently.

“When one approaches the end of their football career things look differently. After suffering this injury, I will enjoy the game much more than before.

“I have already noticed this. Every day it is a joy to train, to try and improve, to do something new.”

Tags Julio Baptista