Jordan Henderson has accepted that he may have to play through the pain for the rest of his career after being told there is no medical cure for his troublesome heel injury.
Liverpool captain Henderson had been out of action since August until last Sunday's substitute appearance against Swansea City due to the problem in his left foot and the broken metatarsal sustained during his rehabilitation.
The 25-year-old, who also came off the bench in Wednesday's League Cup drubbing of Southampton, began to be affected by pain caused by plantar fasciitis towards the end of last season.
Liverpool tried in vain to find a cure during the close-season, and Henderson has come to terms with the fact he may never be rid of the problem.
"It's been incredibly difficult, not just for me but for the staff as well," said the England midfielder.
"With my metatarsal I knew exactly what kind of timescale I'd be out for but with my heel there isn't a timescale, there isn't really a cure.
"That's been the most difficult part. It's been hard but I've had good people around me like Chris Morgan [Liverpool's head physio] and all the staff here.
"There have been times when I've been pretty down because we couldn't find the answers. Now I'm at a point where I can function, where I can train and start playing some part in games.
"Hopefully I can continue like that and it will continue to improve."
Henderson has so far been restricted to just two substitute appearances under new Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, but he has been impressed with the German's work at Anfield.
"The manager is very energetic and passionate on the training field and wants us to be like that when we are playing," he added.
"That has transmitted to the players. If you look at our performances of late they have been really high intensity and high quality with and without the ball."
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