Paul Pogba admits he “couldn’t run” and was left “out of breath really fast” as he lifted the lid on the toll coronavirus took on his fitness.
Pobga, 27, tested positive for Covid-19 in late August and returned to training with Manchester United in time for the start of the season.
But the midfielder was clearly out of sorts in his first appearance, managing just 67 minutes in the 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace at Old Trafford.
Pogba was benched soon after, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer preferring the more dynamic presence of Fred and Scott McTominay in the centre of the park.
But the Frenchman marked his return to the starting XI with a vital equalising goal – his first in the Premier League this season – as he played 90 minutes in the 3-1 win at West Ham on Saturday.
Pogba is relieved to have overcome his bout of coronavirus, which severely hit his fitness levels at the start of the campaign.
“It’s strange, it’s hard to explain because you wouldn’t understand,” Pogba told MUTV . “Even in training, I would say to the fitness coach that I feel strange.
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“It’s not me. I get tired very fast and I’m out of breath really fast. The first game of the season, I couldn’t run. I was trying.
“I spoke with the manager, ‘I will start the game and let’s see,’ but I was very out of breath and it took me a long time to get me back to my fitness and to get back physically good.”
Pogba has made 13 appearances in all competitions this season after his 2019/20 campaign was marred by a recurring ankle injury.
Did Paul Pogba look back to his best in Manchester United’s victory at West Ham? Have your say here.
He now feels back to full fitness and is determined to settle into a “rhythm” ahead of a crucial week which sees United face RB Leipzig and Manchester City.
He added: “Obviously it feels good to play. The lads have been playing really well as well. I had an injury, a long-term injury, I came back, it was strange for me.
“I wasn’t ready physically I would say. I felt weakness physically. You know, just to play the 90 minutes and carrying on with the games… It’s such a difference.
“I’m finding my rhythm as well. I feel so much better today, I felt I could go again, control the game, getting the ball.
“That’s what I like, myself. That’s what I think is good for the team. I’m a team player. As long as the team wins, that’s the most important, you know.
“I find myself good and we want to win. That’s why I came here and that’s why I want to be successful.”
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