Luis Diaz has given an insight into his “extremely difficult” road to recovery, after finally rediscovering the “joy” of playing for Liverpool.
Diaz spent six months out with two serious knee injuries – the second requiring surgery – before his return against Leeds earlier in April.
It was a hugely frustrating spell for both player and club, particularly as the Colombian looked to be nearing his comeback in December only to suffer a major setback in training.
Now, it appears as though Diaz’s fitness woes are behind him, having come off the bench in each of the last three games.
Liverpool are building up his minutes with caution, but in Wednesday’s 2-1 win at West Ham he clocked half an hour on the pitch and looked closer to his electric self on the left wing.
Ha sido un viaje tremendo, 190 días, con momentos sumamente difíciles, una lesión de rodilla, mucha terapia y trabajo duro. Hoy me siento agradecido por volver a estar sobre el césped y agradecido con los que estuvieron conmigo.
Qué alegría volver a hacer fútbol. ¡Gracias Dios!?? pic.twitter.com/hIzOeJmX6g
— Luis Fernando Díaz (@LuisFDiaz19) April 28, 2023
Since his return, Diaz has been understandably wary when it comes to discussing his fitness, but the 26-year-old took to Twitter to do so on Friday.
“It has been a tremendous journey, 190 days, with extremely difficult moments, a knee injury, a lot of therapy and hard work,” Diaz wrote.
“Today I feel grateful to be back on the pitch and grateful to those who were with me.
“What a joy to play football again. Thank you god!”
Along with his words, Diaz shared a series of photos and videos from his six-month recovery, including his surgery and work in the gym at the AXA Training Centre.
Given he looked to be on the cusp of a return two months after his initial injury only to then be sidelined again, it is clear that Diaz wanted to get minutes under his belt before reflecting.
His behind-the-scenes view gives an interesting insight into the recovery process, with Liverpool now employing world-class rehabilitation facilities in Kirkby.
Diaz has played 49 minutes over three appearances against Leeds, Nottingham Forest and West Ham since his return, and should make another outing against Tottenham on Sunday.
There will no doubt be a first start back before the campaign ends, but Jurgen Klopp is unlikely to rely heavily on his No. 23 until next season.