Aston Villa's Jack Grealish has made the incredible claim that an injury he suffered before the start of the 2017/18 campaign almost caused him to lose his life.
The Midlands club were taking on Watford in a pre-season friendly match, and the 22-year-old ended up hospitalised after a fairly innocuous challenge from Tom Cleverley.
He revealed, as quoted by the Mirror: "I took a kick to the kidney and it split in two places. It was pouring with blood, internally, for about five hours.
"It’s the worst pain I’ve ever been in. I went to Heartlands hospital in Birmingham. They found out what it was and I was rushed to the Queen Elizabeth for an operation. Before it happened, the surgeon had to tell me the consequences of what could happen if it didn’t work.
"He looked me in the eye and said, 'Jack, you could die'. My reply was, 'What?' I was genuinely scared. I was expecting to be back inside a week, but it was three or four months.
"I knew Tom Cleverley from our time together at Villa and he couldn’t believe it. I spoke to him the morning after the operation and I said, 'Mate, do you know where I am and what’s happened? He couldn’t have been more apologetic."
Grealish went on to reveal that the situation has actually had a positive impact on him - stating that it forced him work hard and enjoy what he has because one never knows if everything can just be taken away in an instant.
The effectiveness with which he dealt with everything certainly showed on the pitch towards the end of the season, and now Grealish has the chance to become a hero by inspiring his side to victory over Fulham in the Championship play-off final.