Ruben Loftus Cheek has explained how is vying to return to top fitness this season.
“I was doing well at that point, playing every game, even if it was 90 minutes in a Europa League game and then 30 in the Premier League,” Loftus-Cheek said at Stamford Bridge after Chelsea’s 3-0 win in the Europa League. “I was doing that for a few weeks, I was doing well, and I wanted to carry on that momentum. But the back problem came again.
“I tried to push through it and manage it, to keep going, but it was one of those where if I’d carried on, I would have done more damage. I was distraught going down the tunnel [against Nottingham Forest]. I knew I just had to wait to get it right.
“I can’t force anything now. I will just do my best to get fit by training and pushing hard and show what I can do with my fitness to the boss. I’ve said that before (it’s behind him) because it has felt really good and then it has come back.
“I do have problems with my back, but I feel like now I am working with the physios, I think we have nailed it. Fingers crossed because I have had it since I was 17 and I have been trying to figure it out, trying to figure my body out.
“It’s been a tough couple of years with it, coming at the wrong time. Hopefully, we have got a routine to manage it now. It’s a muscular problem. I have a big curve in my lower back, and I’m a big powerful guy.
“I’ve been doing yoga. I’m not very good at it, but I have to start somewhere! Working with the physios, they know the best things. We have been working over the past year since I have been in the first team. As I’d get a niggle, you’d rule out a problem. It was just about ruling out all the problems to figure it out.
“When I thought it was right to return to training, I did, and I have had a few cameos now. It’s just about getting that confidence, that fitness, so the manager feels like he can start me in games.
“As a footballer, you want to be free in your mind, you want to feel physically good before you go on the pitch so you can focus on what you want to do. That’s when I had to decide with the physios. I knew I couldn’t play with it anymore.”
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