Vincent Kompany is determined not to be defeated by on-going injury woes after his latest Manchester City comeback and concedes his can sometimes be his own worst enemy.
The 30-year-old centre-back suffered the 37th injury of his eight-and-a-half-year City career at Crystal Palace in November, when he collided with goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and landed awkwardly to sustain knee ligament damage.
It was a particularly cruel blow for the Belgium international, with the injury unrelated to the muscular problems that severely hindered his 2015-16 campaign before denying him a place at Euro 2016.
But Kompany returned to Selhurt Park and captained City to a 3-0 win in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday.
“It was more important for me [to play at Palace],” he told reporters. “I don’t think like the usual person.
“For me if something brings me bad luck I’ll go looking for it again to see if it’ll be bad luck again. That’s how I am.
“I want to play but at the same time I’m a fighter. I will not give up – it’s impossible for me. I’ve always been confident I can come back and do a job.
“I’ve had [injuries] since I was 14 years old but still built this career that I’ve built. I won’t stop and I know I’ll keep fighting even if it’s for [just] one game, so I can experience these moments.
“The moment I give up on that, I can guarantee one thing: that I will never set foot on a football pitch again.
“If I felt that in training these guys were a little too much for me I’d hold my hand up and say. But at the moment I’m with the best in training so there’s no reason to stop.”
Kompany has worked painstakingly with Pep Guardiola’s medical team to try and find a long-term solution to his ills this season but admits his desire to be involved means he must be kept on a short leash.
“Not sometimes, [but] every time they have to tell me to keep calm and not rush my rehab. That’s one of the reasons why I get injured that often,” he added.
“I have 1001 scars and most of the time they are my own fault. But that’s who I am. And I don’t want to change.”
Kompany’s involvement for any prolonged period of time could provide a steadying influence for John Stones, who again found himself on the bench at Palace.
Guardiola insists he retains confidence in the England centre-back after some patchy recent form but felt he was not as well equipped to deal with the aerial threat of Christian Benteke at the weekend as Kompany and Aleksandar Kolarov.
“When his manager says, ‘Today, you are going to play’, that’s what he needs… to fight like he fought from the beginning of the season,” the former Barcelona boss said.
“He has played a lot and now for this kind of stadium, for Benteke, for the long balls, I decided to play two central defenders who are stronger in the air.
“I will continue to play left-footed central defenders on the left side, like Kolarov, but I remember the last games he [Stones] played — especially at Anfield [a 1-0 defeat], even in Goodison Park [a 4-0- defeat] – he played good.”