Alisson Becker has revealed he refused to listen to doctor's orders as a rigorous training regime enabled him to slice his projected rehabilitation time in half.
Liverpool's number one made a welcome return to Jurgen Klopp's team on Saturday against Sheffield United, 21 days after he damaged his shoulder ligaments in a training ground collision; initial indications were that Alisson would be out until mid-November.
His importance to Klopp's team was illustrated the following evening when Adrian, his deputy, made mistakes during a 7-2 defeat at Aston Villa. Liverpool's defence do not look the same when Alisson is not playing and – even with Virgil van Dijk missing – there was reassurance again at the weekend.
Alisson suffered with two separate, major injuries last season – a ruptured calf muscle and a hamstring issue – but he was determined not to miss any more football in this campaign and worked around the clock to get back between the posts.
'I pray a lot,' said Alisson. 'Seriously, I pray a lot! Also I did a lot of sessions of treatment. I was every day for five or six hours at the club, getting treatment with the physios; working with the fitness department and after two weeks, I was able to be together with the goalie coaches again.
'We started doing catches. I wasn't able to dive (immediately) but then two and a half weeks I started to dive. Then, three days before the (Sheffield United) game, I start to work hard – facing hard shots, doing full range diving, so then on Friday I gave the green light to the boss.
'I believe my faith and working hard helps me in this fast recovery. Every injury you have on the ligament, whether it is your ankle, your shoulder or your knee, you still feel something weird. It's not pain but you feel it for a couple of weeks. It's nothing that puts limits on my way to play.'
Alisson will be between the posts for tonight Champions League assignment against FC Midtyjlland and Liverpool will be expected to maintain their 100 per cent start to Group D; the Brazil international has no concerns about turning out again within 72 hours.
'I'm really 100 per cent able to play and I am comfortable with that,' said Alisson. 'It is good to be back and I'm really happy. I try to give my best and I have the top physios on my side, helping me to accelerate the recovery weeks. I'm glad it was only three weeks but it felt like three months.
'As soon as the doctor said it was going to be four to six weeks, I said: 'No Doc – we go to two-three weeks maximum.' He agreed with me and we decided to go for it. I just want to thank the physios, the fitness staff, the doctors and the goalie coaches who help me.'
Alisson has returned to a team that, almost certainly, will be without van Dijk for the remainder of the campaign but both he and Klopp were at pains to stress the time has come to move on and focus on forthcoming challenges, starting against the Danes.
This is the first time Liverpool have faced Danish opposition in Europe since Brondby knocked them out of the UEFA Cup in 1995; the reality is they should have too much firepower for Midjytlland but Klopp does not want to see any mistakes.
'They are an experienced team,' said Klopp. 'They have goo defenders, good footballing midfielders; speed on the wings. They have a clear plan. We have a clear plan as well which is adaptable. We have to make decisions before the game and a lot during the game. I expect a proper fight.'