Aussie ace Mark Viduka has revealed how he almost had surgery on his troublesome Achilles that could have forced a premature end to his career.
The Socceroos and Newcastle striker has made a successful return to the English Premier League since being out of action since May and is looking forward to getting back to his old form.
"I got opinions from everybody regarding my injury and one of those suggested I would need surgery," Viduka told the Daily Mirror.
"The surgery is quite complicated and it would have meant another 12 months out.
"I was wary of that because I don't really have that time at this stage of my career.
"My Aussie teammate, Josh Kennedy, who plays for Karlsruhe in Germany, had the exact same (operation) and was out for nearly a year.
"My aim was to fix it as quickly as possible without surgery and that took longer than planned, but it seems okay," Viduka added.
"It was nice to get back on to the field again after so long away and I've had no repercussions so far - touch wood."