Bolton Wanderers midfielder Stuart Holden insists past knock-backs have made him the player he is today.
The United States international has become a key cog in the Trotters midfield this season although the 25-year-old endured one of the toughest journeys to establish himself as a top-flight regular.
Holden had a serious knee operation as a teenager before suffering a fractured eye socket in a street attack during his time with Sunderland in 2005.
But the Aberdeen-born performer, who has also broken his ankle and his leg during his short career, does not regret the path that has led him to the Reebok Stadium.
"If I look back, for every bad thing that's happened or knock I've taken, I've come back stronger," said Holden, who is set to feature against Blackpool on Saturday, in the Daily Mirror.
"The night of the attack, I was waiting with my brother for a taxi and I got blindside punched. I was left with double vision for two months.
"I had to have surgery on my eye. It was a blow-out fracture, which is one in a thousand - the muscle in your eye gets caught when it fractures, so your eye can't look up or down. These guys were from Newcastle and we were from Sunderland, but I can't say if it had anything to do with football rivalry.
"People asked me if I'd go back to England after it happened, but it didn't deter me from wanting to come back or scare me. I just put it down to bad luck.
"It was the same with the broken leg with Nigel de Jong. I'd just broken into the team here and it really bummed me out. But I've put that behind me and I'm just focused on the future."
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