Arsenal fullback Kieran Gibbs admits he feared for his career as he battled to overcome a metatarsal injury.
Gibbs recalled when he thought the injury was bad enough to end his career - six years ago.
"There was one point when I had a scan [on the metatarsal] and I was just waiting for the doctor to say it was all clear," he told the Mail on Sunday.
"He rang me and said, 'look we are having a bit of trouble, mate'. I just thought, 'Oh God, what is he going to say? Is he going to tell me I can’t play again?' A million thoughts went through my head before he said, 'You just need another surgery and we should be able to get through it'.
"When I first got the injury there was a lot of pain but I was at a stage where the adrenaline was in me.
"When I tried to walk, my body was telling me I couldn’t. I looked down and saw a hole in the boot and there was blood leaking out. I got in the dressing room and jumped on the bed. By then I’d calmed down and the pain really hit me.
"They cut my boot off my foot. I looked at the injury for two seconds. It was a hole, an open wound. And then I closed my eyes until I was at hospital. I didn’t look again. I was in so much pain. I was knocking back pills for fun.
"People say about me: 'He’s a good player but he’s injured a lot'. That’s something that really frustrates a player, especially when the player in question doesn’t feel like he is injury-prone. That is one of the biggest things I wanted to correct people on. I know I can play the amount of games needed."
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