Former Caley Thistle and Ross County midfielder Greg Tansey considered quitting football after his osteomyelitis nightmare struck again.
Tansey was left at an impasse when St Mirren refused to pay for a second operation and the midfielder ended up footing the bill himself when he started suffering from cold sweats.
Since the surgery in May, Tansey has trained by himself at home in Liverpool and did not have any dialogue with Jim Goodwin after he took over as St Mirren manager.
He initially contracted the disease during a 16-month spell out of the game while at Aberdeen, following a botched hernia operation which required a corrective procedure. The illness left him struggling to walk and it resurfaced following a Buddies game against Hearts at the end of February.
Tansey released a statement over the weekend after the termination of his contract at St Mirren, in order to dismiss rumours of in-fighting in the dressing room at St Mirren.
The 2015 Scottish Cup winner with Caley Thistle is optimistic about his future in the game but admits the relapse pushed him close to walking away altogether.
He said: “I did consider walking away, because of the way things have gone and the way I have been treated as a footballer. When you’re going through it, it does make you question ‘do I want to do this?’
“There’s always been a fire inside me that I’m a footballer at heart and I’ll never lose that.
“But it did make me think twice about playing.
“It’s been hell, to be honest. I’ve been training on my own for the last three months in Liverpool; St Mirren didn’t need me back and told me to follow what the surgeon told me. You’ve got to be professional in times like this.
“I’ve got no ill will towards St Mirren. I understand they need to cut their cloth accordingly, it’s just unfortunate the way it happened. But it made my position untenable.
“There were rumours going round about me fighting with lads in the changing room, which was wrong. You couldn’t ask for a nicer group of lads – they welcomed me from day one.”
Advice from the PFA and his fiancée Victoria – they are due to marry in June next year – kept him going and the move closer to family has proved beneficial.
He added: “The next few weeks will depend on where I go next and what options come in. My circumstances have changed; I have a fiancée now and have lived a big chunk of my life in Scotland. I’m really appreciative of the time I had up there, especially at Inverness.
“But I need to weigh up my options and what is best for my situation.”