Jamie Sterry has revealed how he missed Newcastle's Championship-winning celebration – as he was on day release from hospital.
Sterry was at St James's Park to see his Newcastle United team-mates win the Championship early last month.
But the defender – who was waiting to undergo a double hernia operation – had to return to hospital that night, having contracted a kidney infection.
And Sterry missed the post-game celebrations.
"It had been ongoing for half of the season, I would say – even while I was on loan (at Coventry City) – my right side was a lot weaker than my left," said the 21-year-old.
"My groin had actually gone – that was what the problem was. I was meant to have the operation straight after the season, but I was in hospital for five days with a kidney infection.
“The hospital basically let me out on day release for the last day of the season, but I had to go straight back after the game, so I couldn’t go out with the lads. I missed out on that. It was then a two-week wait for my bloods to get better before I could actually have the op, so that put me back again.
“For two weeks after the operation, I couldn’t do a lot – just a bit of upper body work in the gym.
"I was still ill from the infection as well, which was minging for me. I went on holiday for a fortnight – which helped – and I did six or seven sessions in the gym. I couldn’t do any running, though – which was a bit of a nightmare.
“But now, this week, I’ve started to kick on. I started running on the AlterG (an anti-gravity treadmill) on Monday, and by the end of the week I’ll hopefully be running outside.
"From there, it’ll be about getting my fitness back up. I’m ready to work hard, and I’m hoping to be back just before the start of the season.”
Sterry is slowing working his way back to full fitness ahead of Newcastle's Premier League season-opener against Tottenham Hotspur on August 12.
“They are a really good team – I made my debut against them – and it’d be great for me to get some minutes, but I need to see if I’m fit first," Sterry told the club's official website.
“The rest of the lads are back next week – and it’d be even better if I was ready to do the same sessions as them – but I have things to look forward to.
"We have good physios who will look after me and tell me what to do, and hopefully next season I’ll be able to stay fit and keep going.”