Injuries have taken the better part of my career – Former Ghana captain John Mensah

The General captain of the Black Stars is saddened by football injuries which he believes have taken the shine out of his career

Ghana defender John Mensah has bemoaned injuries as the impediment to his football career over the years.

Mensah, who has had stint with several clubs including English side Sunderland, French giants Lyon and Genoa among others, has seen his playing time shortened due to persistent knee injuries which also accounted for failure to play consistently for the Black Stars.

The 30-year-old who has been a free agent since June 2012 signed a six-month deal with former club Stade Rennes on January 2, has expressed pain over persistent injuries in his career.

"I was a bit unlucky with injuries and spent a bit of time out of the game," Mensah told BBC Sport. "It's difficult when you come back from a long injury; it's very hard because you are afraid of suffering another setback."

"Sometimes I get frustrated, but what else can I do? Injury is part of football so there is nothing I can do.There were hard moments with the doctors and physios - but those tough days are well behind me."

The 'Rock of Gibraltar,' as he is affectionately called, is having a second stint with Rennes, having played 67 games in three seasons from 2006 to 2008.

Mensah said: "Right now I'm fully fit but I need games to regain my confidence and a place in the squad.

"It's tough because the regular players are doing well. It hasn't been easy but I understand how difficult it is for the manager as well."

Mensah, who has 82 caps for Ghana was not included in the Black Stars squad for this year’s Africa Cup of Nations which was held in South Africa, however, the former Sunderland player believes enough playing time at club level can get him back to the national team.

"For now I am not thinking of the national team, I know if I get to play regularly with Rennes, I could get a chance to return for Ghana.

"Some people expected me back as the captain but realistically, I need to earn my return with regular action and full fitness to be recalled," Mensah noted.

Mensah was with Rennes for three seasons and was handed the captain’s armband in his final year before joining Lyon in the 2008-2009 season.