Leeds United star Raphinha has revealed the injury he suffered in the second half of last season was much more severe than many realised, with the Brazilian even fearing he would lose his leg as doctors drained blood from his thigh.
Raphinha impressed in his maiden season for Leeds following a £17m move from Rennes in 2020, scoring six times in 26 outings for Marcelo Bielsa's side.
Writing for The Players' Tribune, Raphinha revealed that he tried to shake off a 'hard' challenge from the City midfielder, only to end up in hospital unable to walk after suffering internal bleeding.
He wrote: "When I came home and removed the bandage, my left leg was swelling. It was twice as thick as the right. My blood pressure dropped. I called a doctor, who took me to the hospital. The pain was so bad that I had to be given anaesthesia. I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t even get into the car.
"Apparently I had something called internal haematoma. The doctors said I needed surgery to remove all the blood. I had never had surgery before.
"They also said I would miss the rest of the season, though sometimes it felt as if I was gonna lose my leg. Thank God, they never found a blood clot, as they had feared. I stayed there overnight on painkillers and medicines. The next morning I went home, and after three days I could put the crutches aside.
"But then the pain returned. I had to have even more blood removed from the leg. I went to the hospital four times — four times, man — and the doctors drained nearly 100 millilitres. It was awful.
"Luckily I returned sooner than expected and even got a few minutes against Spurs. I played with a lot of pain, man. But in that final game, it was worth it."
In the same piece, the 24-year-old also outlined his humble goals for the 2021/22 campaign, while appearing to pour cold water on any lingering transfer speculation by affirming his commitment to Leeds.
"To all you Leeds fans, I want to say that even then I felt your love and affection. Honestly, I cannot put into words how grateful I am for the way you welcomed me to the club," he wrote.
"As for the game against Everton last weekend, well, it was worth the wait. That noise, man. It was just like I remembered it. It was everything I hoped it would be.
"It was very difficult for me to arrive to empty stadiums, because the fans were such a huge part of what made me want the Prem. That noise, man. I still remember it."
Read Raphinha's full story on The Players' Tribune.