Hull defender Angus MacDonald dreams of playing again this season after he returned to full training for the first time since being diagnosed with bowel cancer.
The 27-year-old received the all-clear just before Christmas, having undergone two operations since his diagnosis in August. He has not played a first-team game since August 2018, having previously suffered deep vein thrombosis in his calf.
He admits football was the least of his worries when he was informed of his cancer, but is now eyeing a return to action.
“I wasn’t just worried about having football taken away from me, it was life in general,” MacDonald told the Hull Daily Mail.
“When you get told you’ve got cancer it’s the word that frightens you. You relate that word to death.
“Football went out of the window for me when I was told. It was all about how do I possibly lead a healthy life after this? Luckily enough I can and luckily for me I can look forward to playing football again.
“My aim is to get back out on the pitch this season. Ultimately I thought I’d never get back out on the pitch so to cross the white line just once this season would be a bonus for me.”
MacDonald, the partner of singer Alexandra Burke, had to wear a colostomy bag for eight weeks after an initial operation to remove his entire large bowel and it required a second surgery before he could think about a return to the game.
“The biopsies they took were throughout the large bowel so all that needed to come out,” he said.
“If the second operation hadn’t been possible, that would’ve left me with a colostomy bag for life. You can’t play football with one of those so it would’ve been the end of my career. Football would’ve been a no-go.
“I think it got to about six weeks when the doctor gave me the go-ahead for the second operation. That was the first green light and then you’re waiting to find out if the second operation was a success.
“It was three or four weeks after that I started to feel better and that was when the weight was lifted. Thankfully I was one of the lucky ones.”