'It felt as if I was going to lose my leg' - Leeds United winger Raphinha opens up on massive scare after injury at Manchester City
Leeds United winger Raphinha has opened up on the severity of his injury suffered in last season's victory at Manchester City, declaring: "it felt as if I was gonna lose my leg."
United's star Brazilian winger had to be taken off in the 89th minute of April's 2-1 victory at the Etihad following a strong barge from Fernandinho who was only booked.
Raphinha later posted a photograph of his heavily bandaged left thigh and missed United's next three games but the winger has now lifted the lid on the enormous scare he suffered following the challenge.
Raphinha told The Players' Tribune: "You remember when Fernandinho fouled me at the Etihad towards the end of last season?
"He hit my thigh hard. I’m still used to the várzea, where you put ice on it and carry on. No blood, no foul, man! You have to break your leg to get any sympathy there!
"So I told Marcelo, 'Don’t worry, in two or three days I’ll be fine.'
"But when I came home and removed the bandage, my left leg was swelling.
"It was twice as thick as the right. My blood pressure dropped. I called a doctor, who took me to the hospital.
"The pain was so bad that I had to be given anaesthesia. I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t even get into the car.
"Apparently I had something called internal haematoma.
"The doctors said I needed surgery to remove all the blood. I had never had surgery before.
"They also said I would miss the rest of the season, though sometimes it felt as if I was gonna lose my leg.
"Thank God, they never found a blood clot, as they had feared.
"I stayed there overnight on painkillers and medicines. The next morning I went home, and after three days I could put the crutches aside.
"But then the pain returned.
"I had to have even more blood removed from the leg. I went to the hospital four times — four times, man — and the doctors drained nearly 100 millilitres. It was awful.
"But the worst part was the fixtures I was about to miss.
"Liverpool at home, Manchester United at home, Brighton away and Tottenham at home.
"Still, I had a target. I was going to play the final game of the season, the one where we would have fans at Elland Road.
"Luckily I returned sooner than expected and even got a few minutes against Spurs. I played with a lot of pain, man. But in that final game, it was worth it."
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Thank you Laura Collins