Everton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin says he tried to "push" the club's medical team into allowing him to face Liverpool and Manchester United earlier this month, but has paid tribute to them for helping him swiftly recover from his calf injury.
Schneiderlin missed the clashes against the Reds and Red Devils after suffering a calf problem during his side's 4-0 victory against Hull City on 18 March. The Frenchman was understandably disappointed to miss the games, which seemingly put paid to Everton's slim chances of breaking into the Champions League positions, but bowed to the better judgment of the Toffees' medical team and thanked them for "getting me back on my fee".
"I was pleased to come back after my little injury," Schneiderlin told Everton's official website. "I want to play every game and I missed two important matches, but that's the life of a footballer. I had to get over it and do the right things to get back as quickly as possible. I was very happy to play and be part of this team and help return to winning ways.
"After I had the scan, we knew that it was the best possible injury to have – it was just a grade one tear, which would keep me out for a few weeks. After two weeks I felt great and was trying to push the medical staff but they were very cautious.
"They were telling me to be careful because, although I felt good, the injury might not have healed properly. Even though I wanted to play those games it was not the right thing to do. Thanks to them for getting me back on my feet and feeling healthy as possible."
Schneiderlin made his return to first-team action during Everton's 4-2 victory over Leicester City, and the former Manchester United star will hope to keep Ronald Koeman's side's winning run at home against Burnley on Saturday (15 April).
Everton have won their last seven league games at Goodison Park and could leapfrog both Arsenal and Manchester United with victory over Sean Dyche's men, who have not won away from home all season.