Liverpool's Mohamed Sissoko admits he thought his career was over after suffering his traumatic eye injury in Lisbon.
The Mali midfielder was kicked in the eye by Benfica's Beto during the UEFA Champions League tie in February.
The 21-year-old was rushed to hospital and the early signs from Portuguese medics were that he could struggle to get his sight back.
Sissoko feared that his career could be over but he battled back and made a surprising return to action against Birmingham in the FA Cup on Tuesday, wearing protective goggles for most of the match.
The big African admits that he feared for his career whilst struggling with his eye injury.
"After the kick I knew it was a bad injury. Then I went to hospital and they said the injury was very serious," Sissoko told Liverpool's official club magazine.
"They said for a footballer it was bad and with this injury it might be the end of my career.
"I was crying. I couldn't sleep. There was a lot of things going on in my mind and it was difficult.
"I'm only 21 and I didn't know what I was going to do for the rest of my life.
"After the kick I had no vision, nothing at all. It was zero vision, but from the second week it has slowly come back.
"It has been very difficult for me, mentally and for my family. I was praying I would get better and I say it's thanks to the Lord that I have."