Chelsea left-back Wayne Bridge has revealed the extent of the broken ankle which sidelined him for eight months.
Bridge was injured in February 2005 after a challenge with Alan Shearer and only returned to action in the Carling Cup against Charlton on Wednesday.
"It was quite serious. I broke the fibula which isn't so bad but the ankle almost came away from the leg," said the 25-year-old.
"I ripped all the ligaments bar one. It was hanging on by one ligament."
He added: "They couldn't operate for about two weeks because there was so much swelling and bleeding.
"We had to wait for the bleeding to go down. I had to spend a week or so in hospital before they could operate."
Bridge played 45 minutes of a pre-season game against DC United in the US and his outing came much to the anger of his surgeon.
"They said I wouldn't really be training until September," said Bridge.
"They told me how nasty it was and to get it into my head that I wouldn't be playing until then.
"But everything was going so quickly. I was walking quickly, I was running and playing far before they expected, but the last few steps have taken a little longer.
"When we were in America I remember the doctor telling me after I had played that the surgeon had phoned up to ask what the hell was going on.
"But he told him that I felt good, it wasn't perfect and I could train, run about and do most things."
Bridge will have his sights set on getting back into the England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson's squad for the World Cup.
"I've heard he's said that he wants me in the World Cup squad if I'm fit but I haven't seen that," said Bridge.
"He just asked me how I was getting on and was pleased to see I was doing so well."