Morecambe captain Peter Murphy knows he is a lucky man as he nears the end of his recovery from a potentially fatal blood clot.
The Shrimps skipper was rushed to hospital with a pulmonary embolism as he battled back from a serious knee injury picked on the opening day of the season at Hartlepool.
The medial knee ligaments he damaged are now fine but final approval is needed from a specialist for the summer signing to resume full training.
It would bring an end to a scary part of the 25-year-old’s life, with clots to his knee, which then moved onto his lungs, initially brought on by inactivity in his leg.
Murphy said: “It was very serious.
“It was treated as a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) and a pulmonary embolism.
“When I first went in (to Aintree Hospital) they put me on blood thinners and I went down for a scan which showed I had numerous clots in both lungs.
“It scared everyone. I didn’t really realise the seriousness of it until I read up on it afterwards. I’m very lucky.”
Murphy originally thought he was suffering from back pain before shortness of breath meant his mum insisted an ambulance was called.
He said: “At first I thought I had a stiff back and I was just stretching it.
“It wasn’t going and I woke up one morning and I was struggling to breath.
“I had to phone an ambulance and I was in hospital for about three days.
“I’m grateful that I spotted it early.
“Everything happens for a reason, I’m just looking forwards to getting back now.”
The knee injury recovery has gone to plan but Murphy’s training is currently non-contact before meeting with his haematologist on Friday.
If given the all-clear Murphy will jump on the bus to Barnet on Friday to support his team mates knowing he is simply a bit of match sharpness away from a League 2 return.
He said: “The last few weeks have been the hardest when I’ve been back from my knee injury.
“Until then it was just getting my knee right and rehabbing it.
“Now I’m fully fit and able to train but the blood thinners mean I can’t have any contact.
“I’ve got a meeting with the haematologist and I’m hoping to get the green light to come off the tablets and then I can go into contact stuff.
“Then it’s about getting match fitness and some minutes into me.
“I’m travelling next week to Barnet with the lads regardless.
“I’ve got the appointment in the morning and then hopefully I can get on the coach all smiles.”
Murphy, who admits he hasn’t enjoyed watching from the sidelines during his absence, is excited at the prospect of rejoining a side who can achieve big things this season.
The former Accrington man, who signed a two-year deal to join from Wycombe in the summer, said: “We’ve got our own targets in house and we’re still on for them.
“We had a great result in the cup the other night and we’ve got a good chance in the FA Cup with a home draw if we win.
“We’re in a good place in the league and there’s loads of football left so hopefully we can kick on this month and put ourselves in a good position.”