Rentford midfielder Shandon Baptiste said he felt blessed to be able to finish games after nightmares of injuries suffered in his career to date.
The 23-year-old has started six of the last eight games in all competitions after injury issues dating back to his debut with Oxford.
At his former club, Baptiste dislocated his shoulder three times and had to undergo surgery before sustaining an ACL injury in an FA Cup match against the Bees.
The midfielder’s career at Brentford was hampered by a meniscus injury, which also required surgery, while an ankle problem caused him to miss the start of the season before there was has another shoulder dislocation in West Ham.
However, the former Reading Academy player – who was released at 15 for being too short – now gets regular Premier League minutes and scored his first high profile goal at Leeds last month.
“I start games and play 90 minutes, it’s a blessing to start a game and finish it without getting injured,” Baptiste said. “I love life right now.
“Every time I get injured I fight to try to come back and play because within myself I know and believe where I can go and what I can do.
“That’s what keeps me fighting. It’s hard to get hurt, to come back stronger and to find a place. You have to live with it and take it in your stride.