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Mendes refutes claims he is set for retirement

The Cape Verdean missed the second-half of last season after undergoing surgery on a tendon in his right ankle with the same issue flaring up this campaign after only two starts.

Mendes was adamant he had not considered giving the game away, despite the frustration of being unable to play, and praised his club for the support they had given him.

"I never thought about retiring - I'm only 23 years old," Mendes said.

"Even with the specialists, we did not talk about it.

"For four years I had no problems and then I started accumulating injuries.

"Everyone at the club has been tremendous with me - the managers, players and fans as well - and I was touched when the guys wore a jersey with my name on during the warm-up at Sochaux in September."

Mendes understands that he must not rush his recovery and that the rehabilitation process is crucial to overcoming the chronic injuries.

"I'm glad I'm working hard to come back stronger, but I'm doing it at my own pace," the forward said.

"We do not talk about a return date because it will do me no good to rush back and I'm doing my exercises and I feel better."