Newcastle United striker Mark Viduka has admitted that his latest injury problems almost forced him to quit the game.
The 33-year-old Australia international returned to first-team action recently after spending seven months on the sidelines with an Achilles injury.
The former Celtic, Leeds United and Middlesbrough forward said: "All told, I've been injured for around seven months, so it's great to get involved and be part of the team again.
"I got opinions from everybody regarding my injury and one of those suggested I would need surgery.
"The surgery is quite complicated and it would have meant another 12 months out.
"I was wary of that because I don't really have that time at this stage in my career.
"My aim was to fix it as quickly as possible without surgery and that took longer than planned, but it seems okay.
"It was nice to get back to the field again after so long away and I've had no repercussions so far - touch wood."