Manchester United Captain, Antonio Valencia has turned to fruits from the Ecuadorian soil as he pushes for a return from a calf injury.
The Ecuador international has failed to play since January 2 and expected to return in April but he is pushing himself for a much earlier return to the pitch. He hasn’t played under caretaker manager Ole Gunnars Solksjaer.
Valencia looks to be nearing full fitness after posting two clips of himself sprinting and doing training drills on the beach. The right-back even beats a MOTORBIKE in a footrace over about 50 metres in one of the videos.
“It’s never too late to start over. I mean, every step of the way, I just tried to build something that would last. The greatest peace we find is when we try to achieve our dreams. At every stage of life we must give our best to follow,” he wrote.
Valencia, 33, puts down much of his recovery to healthy eating and also updated his followers with a snap of himself feasting on fruit.
Standing topless and eating an entire pineapple in front of a bench full of fruit, he wrote: “The best way to recover is from natural sources . “Thanks to my Ecuadorian soil for so much variety of fruits!”
Valencia’s upbeat attitude will be a relief to Solskjaer, who decided NOT to extend his contract beyond the summer.
While the Norwegian has only selected him once since taking over in December, his availability could come in handy amid United’s injury crisis. The former Wigan winger will be hoping to play some part in the Red Devils’ push for a top-four finish in the final stretch of the season.
Ashley Young has replaced Valencia at right-back and youngster Diogo Dalot has impressed when given the chance, while United have been linked with a move for Crystal Palace defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Manchester United triggered a one-year extension in Valencia’s contract on 17 January 2017, keeping him at the club until 2018. On 19 March 2017, Valencia made his 200th league appearance for United and scored in injury time, after goalkeeper Víctor Valdés slipped, to complete a 3–1 victory over Middlesbrough.
On 17 September 2017, Valencia scored his first goal of the season in a 4–0 win against Everton with a 20-yard half-volley.
Later on 14 October, Valencia captained the team in his 300th appearance as Manchester United drew 0–0 at Liverpool. After being ruled out for four weeks with a hamstring injury, Valencia returned to action as he scored the opening goal in a 3–0 home victory against Stoke City in January 2018.
At the beginning of the 2018–19 season, and after the retirement of Michael Carrick, Manchester United manager José Mourinho announced Valencia would be the club’s first captain. Valencia joined the club from Wigan ten years ago and has made 338 appearances.