Huddersfield Town midfielder Jonathan Hogg has described his relief at returning to the football pitch just 19 days after fearing his career was over.
The 28-year-old was told he might not play again after scans revealed a fracture to his spine following an awkward fall in the 4-0 defeat at Bristol City last month.
However, Hogg marked his return with a man-of-the-match performance on his 100th outing for Huddersfield as the Championship high-fliers downed Norwich City 3-0 on Wednesday night.
“I’m a lucky boy to be out there because when the doctors said it was a fracture in my spine I feared the worst,” said Hogg, of whom Town manager David Wagner had no hesitation in throwing back in. “For the boss to show a bit of faith in me was encouraging. Hopefully I paid him back.”
Hogg was injured after a collision with Town captain Mark Hudson and received 15 minutes of treatment on the pitch at Ashton Gate.
“It felt worrying – I’d never felt pain like it,” added Hogg. “I had a neck brace on which wasn’t too good – I didn’t sleep too much with that on. As soon as I got home with the missus and the kids it was fantastic for me. That took my mind off it a bit.”
Hogg’s return helped Town end a blip of back-to-back defeats and kept the club hanging to the coattails of leading pair Newcastle United and Brighton.
Wagner’s side are now nine points off second-placed Brighton with seven games to play – and a game in hand.
And Hogg has not given up hope of finishing in the automatic promotion places.
He said: “Strange things have happened this season and we are not a million miles off. If we can get three points on Saturday it will put real pressure on the top two.”
It felt worrying - I’d never felt pain like itJonathan Hogg