Steve McClaren’s revealed that Siem de Jong was almost blinded in a training ground accident at Newcastle United.
De Jong was inadvertently “poked in the eye” by a team-mate on Wednesday.
The forward was taken to hospital with blood pouring from his eye.
And there were fears the luckless player’s sight could be permanently damaged.
Head coach McClaren was at a memorial service for former Newcastle goalkeeper Pavel Srnicek when the accident happened at the club’s Benton HQ.
“It was just in training and he accidentally got poked in the eye,” said McClaren.
They said ‘let us have a look at your eye’, and there was blood pouring from it. He wears contact lenses, and one of the contacts had come out and gone in his eye.Siem de Jong
“I wasn’t here. He went down screaming. So they said ‘let us have a look at your eye’, and there was blood pouring from it.
“He wears contact lenses, and one of the contacts had come out and gone in his eye.”
Asked if there was a fear de Jong could lose his sight, McClaren said: “Yeah. A massive danger, a big danger.
“He was rushed to hospital and I was at Pav’s memorial so I came back and saw him in a darkened room.
“It was the biggest black eye ever, and headaches and everything. I’ve seen him this morning and it looks a lot better. Fortunately, the doctor says probably a week or two to settle down. So very lucky.”
De Jong – who suffered a collapsed lung and a thigh tear last season – has been beset by injuries since joining from Ajax in the summer of 2014.
McClaren said: “When I came back from the memorial, I said ‘you’ve had no luck, have you?’”
De Jong could be back on the field within a fortnight.
Asked about de Jong’s mood, he added: “I think certainly from what I’ve heard and seen looking at him, it will just be a week or two.”