Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka has been hampered by injuries and considered undergoing surgery over the summer.
After struggling in Chelsea’s opener against Hull before being left on the bench against Sunderland, the France forward scored his first goal this season and set up another for Didier Drogba in the Blues’ 2-0 victory at Fulham on Sunday.
“This is not easy because it’s been six months that I’m having plenty of physical problems,” Anelka said in the sports daily L’Equipe, adding that he was still weakened by groin pain and played against Fulham with a sore foot.
“I even thought about undergoing an operation this summer,” Anelka said. “We thought I had a sports hernia. But I didn’t want it because this is a very important season with a World Cup at the end.”
Anelka, who led Premier League strikers last season with 19 goals, said he had a back problem that has since disappeared.
Chelsea is unbeaten this season after three victories in as many Premier League games. Anelka believes the Blues have the potential to win more trophies after the Community Shield triumph on penalties over Manchester United.
“We have to wait and see how we compete against big teams,” the former Arsenal player said. “But for the moment we are in good form and I think we have got a good chance to win something this season.”
Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti praised the Anelka and Drogba partnership after Sunday’s victory.
“I am sure they can play together because they are fantastic strikers and have different qualities,” Ancelotti said. Anelka said that he was happy to be on the pitch with the Ivory Coast striker.
“When I’ve got the ball, I always try to find him and when he has got it, he tries to find me as well,” the 30-year-old Anelka said. “It’s always easier to score when we play for each other.”
Under contract with Chelsea until 2011, Anelka said he didn’t plan a move to another club.
“I’m very happy to play and to score for this club,” the Frenchman said. “I love Chelsea, I love my teammates and I love to play the Champions League. I want to stay here as long as possible.”