Sidwell, 29, went through agony when a routine hernia complaint baffled specialists.
He even got to the point where he discussed his options for life after football before the medical experts solved his problem.
Sidwell said: “It was a hernia that turned into groin problem, then an abdominal problem. It was a nightmare.
“The last operation could have been the last throw of the dice, but it worked.
“There was a time when I sat down with my advisors to look at what circumstances I would be in if I had to throw in the towel.
“That was a really bad time as football is something I’ve done since I was five years old and don’t know anything else. It was scary.
“Fortunately I had this operation that worked and I did all the rehab.”