Gabriel Jesus has admitted he is still playing with fear after recently returning from a knee injury sustained on New Year’s Eve.
The Brazilian’s season was brought to a halt on the final day of 2017 after he damaged his medial collateral ligament during the 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace, sparking fears that his campaign had been brought to a premature end.
Despite recovering quicker than expected – the player made his return to action as a substitute in City’s League Cup win over Arsenal and started in Wednesday’s defeat by Basel – Jesus remains fearful of picking up another injury.
"When you are in the game, without wanting it, you end up thinking about the previous game where you got injured, you have a bit of fear,” he said after the final whistle. “But, as you are playing more and more, you are going to get that fear away and play your football.
“I think tonight I still played with some fear, there's some movements when I still have some fear to got injured again. I know anything can happen, but I'm sure that the more you play, the easier that fear is going to go away."
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Jesus scored City’s only goal in an otherwise forgettable Champions League clash that saw the hosts succumb to a 2-1 loss against Basel.
Winning 5-2 on aggregate, though, Pep Guardiola’s men are now through to the last eight of the elite competition.
"Regarding the draw, I don't have any specific wish,” Jesus added. “A team like Manchester City, who's improving and growing more and more, it can't choose any opponent. The way we have been playing and winning, I don't think we can choose an opponent. Just we'll watch the draw and focus on facing any team in the next round.”
He added: "Physically, I'm feeling very well. I felt really well tonight. I think for having been out two months, I think physically I'm pretty well. Tactically, as well. I'm a bit sad for the result, that's not what we wanted, but I'm happy for having got through to the next round"