The West Ham United star has struggled with injuries over the past two years.
West Ham ace Michail Antonio spoke exclusively to the club's official website about his recent reintegration into Manuel Pellegrini's starting XI, and admitted that he is finally starting to feel like his old self again.
The 28-year-old joined the Hammers from Nottingham Forest back in the summer of 2015, for a fee believed to be worth in the region of £7 million, and he has gone on to chalk up 23 goals and 12 assists in 106 appearances in all competitions.
Antonio has played in a variety of different positions for West Ham, and that versatility has already been called upon this season, with Pellegrini opting to play the former Forest man in the right-back role against Cardiff City on Tuesday night.
The Englishman really hasn't been himself over this past year or so, but he seems to have rediscovered his fine form of two seasons ago.
And the West Ham man told the club's official website how the hamstring injury that he suffered prevented him from playing to his full potential:
‘I was in the team week in and week out, but I did my hamstring. I came back from that, but can I really say I came back from it? I would play one week and I was injured again. I would play another week and there was another injury. That first hamstring, I would say, put me out until now. It was only in the Manchester City game two weeks ago that I felt fresh, sharp, and like the old me from two years ago. This season, I’ve been trying to do all the things I used to be able to do, and my head was saying it but my body wasn’t doing it. In that Man City, it was the first time I felt like my head was telling me to do something and my body was actually doing it. That gave me confidence.”
West Ham play host to Crystal Palace tomorrow, and Antonio will be hoping for another chance to impress, although Pellegrini might be tempted to bring Pablo Zabaleta back into the fold.
The 28-year-old could be deployed in a more attacking position, however, and Hammers fans will be hoping that his recent renaissance is not just a flash in the pan.