Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount has revealed he feared the worst when he was forced off on his Champions League debut against Valencia.
Mount was hurt by a painful challenge from Francis Coquelin during last Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat at home by Valencia and was substituted after just 16 minutes of the group game.
There were concerns Mount had suffered angle ligament damage in the tackle, but he passed a late fitness test to start Sunday’s 2-1 home loss against Premier League leaders Liverpool.
"As soon as I did it, in my head I thought it would be a long-term injury," said Mount. "We iced it and we let it calm down a bit. Then we realised it wasn’t as bad as I first thought. The next day I was kind of jogging on it a little bit.
"From then on, I knew there was a chance of being involved. There was swelling, and there is still swelling there now, but it is solid. It felt good as I trained on the day before the game so I was pretty positive leading up to the game that I could be involved.
"It was my Champions League debut and you don’t want it to end so soon like that but that’s football. It happened. I tried to stay positive and look forward to the Liverpool game and set a goal to get ready for that. I feel like I am quick at recovering. So we worked on it hard and I was able to get back.
"No, not at all [it wasn’t affecting me during the match]. I think you have got to block that out of your head and just to try to focus on the game. When I had that chance at the end which I thought I should have scored but I rolled my ankle a bit.
"It still felt fine afterwards. It was fine. It was good throughout the game. It felt solid so it was alright."
Mount has quickly established himself as a key figure under Frank Lampard this season after impressing under the Chelsea manager on loan at Derby County last term.
The 20-year-old has started seven of Chelsea's eight games this campaign and he is the club's second top scorer with three goals, but he concedes he did not expect to play such a central role so early in the team’s season.
"For me I thought I would try and work hard, learn off the boys and work my way into the team," Mount added. "Obviously, for me, going into pre-season, that was my main focus. To show the manager that I was ready, even though I didn’t think I would be starting the games.
"But showing him that I was ready to come on and prove to him that I can start games, but obviously starting games at the beginning is a massive confidence builder and I have been loving it and just learning from each game, every day in training.
“[It is] nights, games like this where you learn the most that what you play football for. So [I’m] loving every minute, and loving the game."