Tottenham forward Erik Lamela has revealed previous fears he had over the future of his career after spending 13 months on the sidelines through injury.
Quoted by Mail Online, the Argentinian spoke honestly over a plague of injuries that have seriously dented his time in north London. Though with a new contract extension signed, the 26-year-old attacker is relishing the new season.
Lamela, who was previously Tottenham's record signing in the summer of 2013 for £30m, recalled the surgeon reassuring him before having an operation on both his hips, saying, "Erik, you will be OK".
Lamela went on to say: "I have a lot of time to make up for, I'm now injury free - I enjoy every training session. I was scared I wouldn't play again. Every operation is a risk. A hip operation is difficult and not very common."
"It was the result of an injury, I did it first against Bournemouth and then Liverpool away in the League Cup. I was in a lot of pain, in training also. The pain never stopped.
"When I wasn't playing I was trying with the club (to get fit). We did a programme in the gym to strengthen everything, to get better, to improve the core work, to see if the pain would go.
"After we made the decision I didn't want to lose more time. So one day I told the club I want to have the operation and that's it. It was so tough emotionally and mentally.
"Every time I bumped into someone I would be asked how I was and when I was coming back and there were times when I didn't know the answer myself. It was hard but I was lucky my family was always with me. The fans sent me messages too and this was good for me to know I had their support.
"The surgeon told me I would be good until I finish my career. In football you never know so I am working every day in my body, with the physio at the club and sometimes on holiday too. I dedicate all the time I need to staying fit."
Lamela featured for Spurs on Wednesday in a 4-1 win over Roma in the International Champions Cup in San Diego, California.