Milik skips holiday to focus on fitness

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Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik will skip his holidays so he can get fully fit for the start of the new Serie A season.

Milik returned from rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the closing weeks of the campaign, but he only scored once following his comeback.

The forward had hit seven goals from nine appearances in all competitions before suffering the injury on international duty with Poland and the 23-year-old is committed to getting back to that level.

"I can't say if I'm ready to play 90 minutes, but I'm definitely cured," Milik told Polish media. "I'm ready to fight, I feel good, better than before.

"In March it seemed like I was fine, but I've noticed further progress in the last three months from a physical point of view: aggressiveness and speed, even though they were already at high levels.

"I was only out for three months. I was doing leg work straight after the operation, recovering my body slowly with exercises. I trusted Napoli's medical staff 100 per cent, who helped me in the best way while keeping me under observation. The time flew by.

"These situations test your strength, I've endured it and become stronger. I lost several months but I've become stronger mentally. My family supported me the whole time, showing me who I can count on.

"I'm not going to go on holiday, I want to recover well and start the next season with Napoli like I started my first."

In Milik's absence, Belgium international Dries Mertens thrived in a central attacking role, hitting 28 Serie A goals in the most prolific season of his career.

But Milik insisted there will be no rivalry between himself and Mertens as Napoli aim to break a six-year run of successive titles for Serie A champions Juventus.

"Mertens started playing well, taking advantage of the fact I was injured," Milik added.

"It was difficult to be out with the injury but the team did well and the Belgian scored more than 30 goals [in all competitions]. Now I'm thinking of pre-season in July. There will be no battle between myself and Mertens."