Atletico Madrid midfielder Tiago Mendes has vowed to return ‘stronger’ from the broken leg that is likely to keep him on the sidelines for four months.
Tiago suffered the injury suffered the injury in the late November win over Espanyol and has spoken of the incident and his recovery, which he admits is a slow process.
“The fans, when they saw my injury was serious, in the same game chanted my name,” he recalled, Marca reports.
“The love I have received has been amazing. I can’t help but be grateful and tell everyone that I’ll return stronger and to thank everyone.
“I know the love [the Atletico squad] have for me and I can’t convey my gratitude. I wanted to hug and kiss everyone. It’s been amazing to me.
“The recovery is slow and the first few weeks are complicated because a lot of developments aren’t seen. I would love to return as soon as possible but at the moment I can’t say when.
“I prefer to take it slowly. In my head is starting to walk without crutches, then to run a little and from there I will mark a return date.”
In his absence, Atletico are close to signing Augusto Fernandez from Celta Vigo but before the winter window opens, it is Saul Niguez getting more minutes, much to Tiago’s contentment.
“Everyone brings the most they have and the truth is some players are more important in the group but the group, the fans and all the strength we have together outweighs any loss,” he added.
“I’m very happy Saul is playing more, that he is contributing goals, work, enthusiasm. I’m very happy for him.”