Jose Enrique says he is happy with simply being back training with his teammates after nearly a year out injured, despite little playing time so far this season.
The Spanish left-back picked up a severe knee injury last November which required surgery and forced him to miss the rest of 2013/14, after a bright start.
But following rehabilitation, the 28-year-old says he is delighted to be back in full training — and even made his come back to action as an 86th minute substitute in Liverpool’s 3-0 win at Tottenham last month.
“I’ve always appreciated football, I’ve always loved training and I’ve always loved playing even more,” he told the club’s official website. “But now, every time I go into training, I am like a child getting back with the team.
“Last year, I came to train alone all of the time while my teammates were outside. For a long time, I was alone and training in the gym because I was injured.
“Now I am training with my teammates again, I feel like the happiest guy in the world. I want to play – but I am so happy just to be back and training.
“It is true what they say in life, when something happens to you, you appreciate things more. That’s what’s happened to me.”
The signings of full-backs Javier Manquillo and Alberto Moreno, as well as the rejuvenation of Jon Flanagan, may have given Enrique a battle to win his place back — but that hasn’t dampened his spirits.
Enrique has spent the international break visiting fellow Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho in Paris:
Amazing lunch with @mamadousakho3 . Perfect end to our weekend here in Paris. Thanks for everything my friend pic.twitter.com/UyFQ3FVu0U
— José enrique (@Jesanchez3) September 8, 2014
Our last night in Paris, a nice walk around the Arc de Triomphe after dinner at @lacuisineparis pic.twitter.com/OwgAxs4JWK
— José enrique (@Jesanchez3) September 7, 2014
“I am looking forward. We had a friendly at Melwood recently and I looked forward to it like it was a Premier League game,” he added. “10 months without playing is a long, long time.
“I have been training every day, but games are completely different, so these types of friendlies are fantastic. I feel like a child right now, I am so happy.
“Even in my personal life, I am so happy right now – I’m really, really good. I feel really happy here.”
Can you see Enrique breaking back into the Liverpool first-team regularly? Let us know your thoughts on the Reds’ left-back options in the comments section below.