Lille forward Ryan Mendes has insisted that he will not retire from football anytime soon despite his injury problems.
The 23-year-old Cape Verde international missed the second half of last season after undergoing surgery on a tendon in his right ankle and has been ruled out until December with a similar problem.
"No, I never thought about retiring," Ligue1.com quotes him as saying. "I'm only 23 years old!
"Even with the specialists, we did not talk about it. I know what I have to do. For four years I had no problems, and then I started accumulating injuries.
"But everyone at the club has been tremendous with me - the managers, players and fans as well. I was touched when the guys wore a jersey with my name on during the warm-up at FC Sochaux-Montbeliard in September."
Mendes added that he has not set himself a date for a return from his latest injury setback.
"In moments like these, it is really important to not feel abandoned," he said. "I'm glad I'm working hard to come back stronger, but I'm doing it at my own pace.
"We do not talk about a return date because it will do me no good to rush back. I'm doing my exercises and I feel better."
Mendes joined Lille from Le Havre in 2012.