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Stoke goalkeeper Butland admits ankle woes had him in tears

Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland admits his constant ankle problems had him in tears.

Butland missed Euro 2016, spent 13 months in total on the sidelines and needed three operations before the problem was resolved.

Speaking in Sky documentary Phenoms, Butland said, with tears in his eyes and voice quivering: “There were some really dark moments and pretty dark places but there were a few times I remember.

“I remember being told for the third time that I needed an operation, I remember calling my mum on the way home and saying, 'I don't know, you know, if I am going to play again' so there were some really, really tough times."

Butland battled through them to return in April 2017 and, despite Stoke's relegation last month, did enough to regain his place in the England squad.

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Paul Vegas

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