Jesus vows to return even stronger after knee injury

Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus

Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus is confident he will hit the heights again for Manchester City after recovering from knee ligament damage.

Brazil striker Jesus is yet to play in 2018 after damaging a medial ligament at Crystal Palace on New Year’s Eve, but he returned to first-team training on Friday.

Monday’s FA Cup tie against League One Wigan Athletic is expected to come too soon for Jesus, but he is set to play a part in the run-in as City set their sights on an unprecedented quadruple.

And Jesus believes the mental resolve he has required to overcome his first serious knee injury will stand him in good stead for the challenges ahead.

“At the beginning, it was hard,” he told City’s official website. “But after I got used to the situation, I convinced myself that all I could do was to recover in the best way possible – to come back well.

“Of course, in the first few days, it was awful – extremely bad. I was bad. I am thankful that my family were here to help me. They were very important.

“In the last few days, I am feeling better and I am happier. I am recovering well. I keep going strong and each day recovering a bit more so I can return and be at my best.

“A lot of bad thoughts go through my mind, especially when it comes to the knee, which is a very sensitive area. I had never felt any pain before in my knees so I was very scared.

“It was a bad injury. I know they all are but it could have been worse. I am very thankful to God because despite what happened to me, it wasn’t the worst.

“It was hard because you have to train alone, exercise alone and do everything alone with the physio so it isn’t great. It’s actually hard because you feel a bit solitary but on the other hand, it tests your willpower and determination so you can overcome the situation and come back even stronger.

“The players help. They come and talk to me and give me full support. I’ve always had Fernandinho’s support and from the rest. I am happy for their support. It shows that they like me and they care about me – the same way as I do too.”