West Ham midfielder Mark Noble has revealed how he came within hours of suffering a burst appendix.
Noble was back in action against Blackpool on Saturday just 12 days after having the appendix removed.
The 23-year-old midfielder still has stitches in his side but came the game without any ill-effects from the surgery.
Club doctor Ges Steinbergs rushed the player to hospital after he had complained of stomach pains.
"It was very painful," said Noble. "I was in agony. Ges said we have got to go right now. He chucked me in his car and it ended up that in a couple of hours I was on a drip and in a hospital bed about to have an operation.
"The surgeon came up after and he said that it was a couple of times the size it should have been. He found poison around the area. He said it was within hours of bursting and if it does you are in a lot of trouble. If it wasn't for Ges noticing it so quick then I could have been in a bit of trouble. Also I have got to say a massive thanks to the surgeon. To play a full 90 minutes after 12 days and feel fine, it is a credit to him."