Sheffield Wednesday defender Sam Hutchinson has revealed he blamed himself for the chronic knee problems he experienced at Chelsea.
Hutchinson was forced to retire at the age of just 21 after three years of issues, while Chelsea offered him the chance to work with the club's academy while he studied at university.
He re-signed for Chelsea in 2011 and is now at Championship club Sheffield Wednesday, having had loans spells at Nottingham Forest and Vitesse Arnhem.
Speaking to The Guardian, Hutchinson revealed he came to hate football as a result of all the pain and anguish his persistent injuries had on his body.
“It wasn’t a big call at the time because I hated it,” the 27-year-old said.
“I just wanted to stop the pain and stop everything. I never wanted to come back.
"I didn’t want to play for Chelsea either because I blamed them for it, even though it wasn’t [their fault], it was just what happened.”
Having so many setbacks is bound to affect the mental welfare of an athlete, and Hutchinson confirmed the mental side of rehabilitation was just as important as the physical side.
“I probably did as much work mentally as I did physically to come back,” Hutchinson continued.
“I spoke to people, did a bit of brain training. You just get to a point in your life where you either go through the motions and maybe become a bit-part player or you really go for it.
“Everything was spiralling out of control.
“I just needed to take control and make my own decisions and just be a man about it. That’s what I’ve done at Sheffield Wednesday. As soon as I took charge of my own career, that’s when I started being happier and when I started reaping the benefits.”
Hutchinson has made 25 Championship appearances this season, scoring twice and assisting once as Wednesday look to cement their place in the playoffs.