Leeds United midfielder Adam Forshaw reveals his shortcut to mental 'clarity' during challenging injury lay-off
and live on Freeview channel 276
Forshaw sat out the entirety of Whites' stunning maiden top-flight season with a hip injury that threatened to end his playing career altogether, so it was a huge relief for him to get back on the pitch and make 22 Premier League appearances this campaign.
But last month, Forshaw counted himself out of United's relegation run-in as he was side-lined once more with a fractured kneecap suffered during a training session.
No stranger to the treatment room, the 30-year-old described the effect of injury and his own key to coping with it.
"I had times where, from a sports point of view, I was really down and didn't know where to to turn to," Forshaw said.
"At times I've thought I might have to retire, which is taking everything away from me in terms of what I've dreamed of doing as a kid.
"I had really down days and the big thing for me was being able to still exercise in the gym.
"Exercise helped me so much, gave me so much clarity, it gave me a little bit more of a... at least I know I've exercised - in the gym, or I've been in the pool, things that I could do that weren't football-related gave me such a space in my head to still be pleased with my day.
"I think exercise in general helps me so so much, that's just me personally."
Speaking to JD Sports with Andy's Man Club, who offer safe spaces for men to talk about their problems, Forshaw said that football is increasingly an environment where vital mental health conversations can take place.
"In a football environment, that's the hardest thing - being around a lot of alpha males and it's coming more into sports in general, and in football," Forshaw said.
"I think dropping your ego at times, especially in a man's environment, to be a bit more vulnerable is so commendable nowadays - whereas it hasn't been in the past."