Newcastle United winger Hatem Ben Arfa has revealed he could have lost his leg following the serious injury he suffered last year.
The 24-year-old Frenchman, who sustained a double fracture in his leg as a result of a challenge by Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong last October, is poised to return to light training this week.
But Ben Arfa has revealed a comeback would not have happened had he not undergone a second operation after developing an infection.
He told the Daily Star: “I needed a second operation because I had an infection. It was a big infection which could have been very dangerous.
“I was told that I could have had my leg cut off if they didn't operate on me very quickly.”
Despite the injury the Magpies pressed ahead and made Ben Arfa’s loan move from Marseille a permanent one in January, but he has now admitted there were times when he thought his career was over.
He added: “You take a blow, that's for sure, and I started seeing myself as someone whose career was over, who no longer plays football.
“That brought me closer to my friends and I started to really think about things because I wasn't in the spotlight.
“I travelled a bit and the break did me a lot of good and hopefully it stands me in good stead for the future.
“Newcastle showed me so much respect and a lot of live that I want to give back to them.
“I will give everything I can for this club because they trusted me and, for a human being, that is really touching.”