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Chelsea midfielder Loftus-Cheek reveals seven-year long back battle

Ruben Loftus-Cheek has revealed that he has struggled with back problems for the best part of seven years.

The 23-year-old has become a significant player for Maurizio Sarri's side towards the end of this season.

And he credits his consistency with learning to manage his persistent back issues.

"I've had back injuries, lower back spasms, since I was 16 or 17 up to now," Loftus-Cheek said.

"It's something I've had in the latter part of my career, and it's something I've had to deal with and manage with the physios. It's hindered me a lot.

"But over the years learning about my body with the physios, we've come up with a routine to keep it at bay. We're working a lot.

"I don't think it's something I'll have to suffer for the rest of my career. I'm feeling really good now, the best I've felt. I've not had a twinge in my back for weeks now. It's looking really good.

"Playing the most games I've played this season, playing every three days, it's something I've never done before.

"It's important I get the right rest so my back's OK. So I might not do a whole training session two days after a game. I might just do half of it. I taper it that way.

"It's a good feeling to be seen as an important player for the team, to help the team win games. I think it's something I've never felt in my career.

"I've always been on the bench. At Palace, I felt like an important player, that I could help the team win games and be one of the main men in the team.

"Hopefully with more games and experience, I can be that player for Chelsea, too."

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Freddie Taylor

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