Ruben Loftus-Cheek has admitted he feared he would need surgery in order to recover from his ankle injury.
The midfielder, on a season-long loan at Crystal Palace from Chelsea, recently returned to action after three months on the sidelines.
Having returned to Chelsea for treatment, Loftus-Cheek was told that an operation might be necessary.
That would almost certainly have ruled him out of this summer’s World Cup, but he remains a candidate for a place in England’s squad.
“Of course the World Cup has been in the back of my mind,” he told the Evening Standard.
“At the start when surgery was mentioned I thought, ‘That sounds bad’. It was very scary because we did not know how long it would take and it was waiting to decide what was the best road to go down.
“I went back to Chelsea for physio and rehab. We did not know what I had done at first. My right ankle took a little bit of a fracture. It was either surgery or try and let it heal by itself. It was tough but I knew if I got back I could get into the World Cup squad.
“There was a period when it just did not feel like it was getting better and I was wondering how long it was going to take. But we made the decision that we would go with the conservative route and after a couple of weeks it did start to feel better.”