Mathieu explains why he decided to have his meniscus removed

Jeremy Mathieu is happy to be back in Barcelona training and hopes to be included in the French squad for this summer's European Championships in his homeland. 

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The 32-year-old was injured in March while playing for France and had an operation to remove the meniscus in his knee, which has ruled him out ever since. 

However, he's made a speedy recovery and could be back for next weekend's Catalan derby against Espanyol. 

"It is going well, little by little I have recovered my smile," he said in an interview with L'Equipe. 

"It will now depend on the coach [Didier Deschamps], but physically I will be ready for the European Championships."

On the feelings he felt when he picked up the injury, he added: "I thought I was cursed. When you feel pain like that, you think the worst. 

"I noticed a crack and I thought it was my ligaments, so when they told me it was 'only' the meniscus, it was a relief. 

"I picked my head up to return as soon as possible."

Mathieu had two options: he could either have the meniscus taken out or a surgical intervention to fix it.

He opted for the former, as it came with the quickest recovery time, although it could have damaging long-term effects. 

"I decided to have the meniscus removed, for my national team and for my club," he explained. 

"We'll see about [the effects] when I retire. 

"When I'm 62, maybe I will be limping. The main thing for me is to enjoy my passion until the end. I am nearly at the end of my career." 

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