Tuesday 15 November 2011
Stoke City striker Mamady Sidibe says he thought his career was over when he ruptured an Achilles for the second time in February.
Sidibe, 31, had been pushing for a return almost six months after first snapping his tendon when he suffered a major setback in his recovery earlier this year.
The Mali striker last played a first-team game in August 2010, but he played for Stoke's reserves at the end of September and is now hoping to reclaim a place in manager Tony Pulis's squad.
"When I did my Achilles for the second time I didn't know what was going to happen," says Sidibe. "It is very rare to do the Achilles twice.
"The operation was bigger and I was doubting if I was going to play again. It was really difficult but I kept working with the physio and did a lot of work to give me the confidence to think I could play again.
"Now everything is starting to get back to normal and I am really happy."
Pulis kept faith in Sidibe, even including him in Stoke's 25-man Barclays Premier League squad this season despite the doubts that surrounded the former Gillingham hitman's fitness.
"That is a very big boost," added Sidibe. "The gaffer has been great with me ever since I have been at Stoke."