Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar has revealed persistent injury problems prompted him to consider retirement earlier this season.
The South Africa international has struggled with knee and groin troubles this term, making just 11 appearances.
Pienaar returned for a 1-1 Premier League draw at Swansea City earlier this month and is now hopeful of rediscovering his best form.
“At one stage, I thought I had better just hang my boots up and call it a day,” he told Everton’s official website. “But on the other side I was just thinking that I enjoy going in and seeing the guys so I just had to stay strong and that kept me going.
“When you are at home not coming in for training you feel very down but as soon as I walk through the door, there’s always the camaraderie in the group, there is always fun.
“Even if you are injured, you can always laugh and it keeps you going. Just to be among the players, it’s kept me going.”
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