Manchester United defender Jonny Evans has admitted he thought he was going to have to retire from football due to injuries last season.
Evans was part of the Leicester City side that suffered a shock relegation from the Premier League, though a persistent calf problem limited him to 14 appearances in all competitions, with most of these matches coming towards the beginning of the campaign.
The veteran centre-back left the Foxes upon the expiration of his contract during the summer and returned to United – where he had come through the academy and previously spent nine years as a senior player – on an initial temporary basis to maintain his fitness.
United then decided to hand Evans a short-term deal to allow him to play in pre-season fixtures before tying him down to a one-year contract, and he has since featured in four matches for the Red Devils.
But speaking ahead of Northern Ireland’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Slovenia, Evans revealed that he contemplated quitting football due to his injury woes.
“I went through a stage last year where I started thinking maybe it is coming to an end,” he said.
“There’s no doubt I did have those thoughts. At the time I couldn’t get over injuries and every time I came back I was breaking down.
“I had lots of people telling me there’s no way you’re close to finishing, but you have to prove that to yourself and I feel like I’ve been able to do that.
“Every time you complete a match you think, ‘There’s another one, I can do that’, and sometimes you just have to confirm that to yourself.
“I’ve been pleased I’ve been able to go through that process and I feel in a good place.”
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