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Saturday, 11 November, 2000, 11:41 GMT
Nilis feared amputation
Luc Nilis
Nilis lies injured after clash with Richard Wright
Aston Villa striker Luc Nilis has revealed he might have had to have part of his right leg amputated, following his horror break earlier in the season.

The 33-year-old Belgian international broke his leg in a horror collision with Ipswich goalkeeper Richard Wright earlier this season - just three games into his Villa career.

The injury became infected and doctors told Villa's summer signing from PSV Eindhoven they might have to amputate to stop it spreading.

John Gregory
John Gregory - supportive
Nilis said: "It was the worst moment of my life to be told I might have to lose part of my leg - that will live with me forever.

"It was such a bad break that it led to complications - and it was nearly a disaster.

"I cried when I was told. It was been a nightmare and sometimes I wonder how I can get through the day - it has affected me very badly mentally."

The threat of amputation passed but Nilis has virtually ruled out any hope of playing for Villa and fears he may not be able to walk properly again.


It was the worst moment of my life to be told I might have to lose part of my leg - that will live with me forever
  Luc Nilis
He continued: "I know there are worse things that happen in the world, but this has destroyed my dreams.

"I have never known anything like this happen to a player and I keep on asking `why me'? I am very low.

"Now my hope is that I will recover and be able to at least walk again - but I'm not sure about being able to play football.

"It breaks my heart to think I may never get the chance to play again.

"It saddens me so much that Aston Villa never saw the best of me, but despite that they have stood by me and given me their support."

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