Newcastle United ace Christian Atsu has shed light on his injury situation as he continues his journey to recovery.
The 26-year-old has been out of action since a 2-1 win over Leicester City in April after undergoing surgery on a troubling knee.
"I've had it for three years now and I've been playing with it, but I thought to myself that this was the right time to solve this problem," Atsu told NUFC TV.
"I want to be better when I'm playing and to also play pain free so I'm very happy that, at last, I have the opportunity and the chance to solve it.
"It's been three weeks now since I had my surgery and I've been on my recovery work.
"I've been doing gym work and I think I'm feeling better and getting stronger each and every day."
The former Chelsea recruit also threw light on why he had chosen to play through pain until now.
"I thought to myself, we came to the Premier League to stay there and I kept playing through the pain," Atsu added.
"I cannot leave my colleagues suffering like that so I have to at least try.
"What I thought in my mind is that I want the team to be secured in the Premier League and then I will have time to do the recovery.
"I cannot do the recovery thinking of playing in the Championship, I have to make sure I do everything for the team."
Atsu made 28 appearances, involving 19 starts and two goals, as Rafael Benitez's outfit finished 10th in the Premier League.