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WATCH: The Remarkable Story of Christian Benteke's Recovery

19 January 2019

Crystal Palace forward Christian Benteke is preparing to head north to Merseyside today where he will face his former club Liverpool having spent the past four-and-a-half months sidelined by injury.

Now, however, he's back, preparing for a huge challenge against Jurgen Klopp's men. Having played in red and blue on the Selhurst turf for the first time last Saturday since leaving the field on September 1st, the Belgian forward is brimming to have returned.

But the journey has been a long one behind often closed doors.

Explaining what happened as the season began to stretch into action, Benteke said, "I did everything I could to avoid surgery. I didn't just decide to go for surgery, which would have maybe been quicker. Who knows? But I didn't want to do something I'd regret so I did everything I could to avoid surgery. I tried but it didn't work out. My knee is now stronger than it was before [after successful surgery].

"You can play through the pain where you can cope with it and you can play through the pain where you won't give your best and won't perform. I ended up being in the situation where I was on the pitch but couldn't give 100%."

While the physical side of injury for elite athletes may stand out and steal attention upon their return, the typically overlooked - even seldom considered - aspect to recovery is psychological.

Opening up on how the injury affected him away from the training pitches, Benteke said, "The only way to stay positive is to work hard. The last stage, when you're almost there, you have that picture in your head when you're doing rehab. 

"It was frustrating, because if I watch the game and the team lose, you're not with them. You can't do anything.

"I really worked hard, I was here every day and my only focus was to come back and helped the lads."

To watch the full video explaining and following Bneteke's recovery, just click below, where you'll see astonishing behind-the-scenes footage of life in recovery and hear more from the Belgian forward.

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