Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish has revealed the extent of a serious kidney injury which could have ended his professional career for good. The youngster sustained the problem after a challenge by close friend and Watford midfielder Tom Cleverley in pre-season and this saw him miss the opening months of the Championship campaign.
In an interview with The Mirror, he said: “I took a kick to the kidney and it split in two places. It was pouring with blood, internally, for about five hours. It’s the worst pain I’ve ever been in. I went to Heartlands hospital in Birmingham. They found out what it was and I was rushed to the Queen Elizabeth for an operation. Before it happened, the surgeon had to tell me the consequences of what could happen if it didn’t work. He looked me in the eye and said, ‘Jack, you could die’. My reply was, ‘What?’ I was genuinely scared. I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason. I came back from that injury a different person.”
Grealish started his initial career in the attacking midfield position but he has since managed to make progression to settle into more of a central role. The 22-year-old’s creativity and tireless workrate from the centre of the park has been greeted with praise from the supporters during the second half of the campaign and Villa are now just within one match of being promoted to the Premier League.
The west Midlands outfit finished the regular league season in fourth position behind Fulham and they are now scheduled to play the Capital side in the Championship playoff final this weekend. Judging by form, Fulham are pretty much favourites with a 23-match unbeaten run heading into May but Steve Bruce’s side have proved that they can contend the best of opposition with their backline which presents vast experience in the form of John Terry. The former Chelsea star is widely expected to stay at Aston Villa next season, if they secure promotion to the top-flight.