KIERAN TIERNEY admits he feared retirement as he revealed his injury hell during his final year at Celtic.
The Arsenal defender made 40 appearances during his last season as a Hoops star but missed the end of the campaign, and was injured when he joined the Gunners in a £25million move.
The Scot had been diagnosed with osteitis pubis and says he struggled to get out of bed at times.
But he continued playing through the pain and was taking injections before games as he admits he began to fear rumours about his retirement would come true.
Speaking on Open Goal’s Keeping The Ball On the Ground, Tierney said: “In the November I got pubis problems, I had hernias and fluid everywhere around the area.
“But I kept playing and playing. I couldn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t walk – but I was still trying to play.
“I was taking injections every game. Two of them and painkillers.
“I was done. I had osteitis pubis and it’s a bad thing.
“Jonny Hayes said to me, ‘My mates have retired with this…this is bad’.
“Tom Rogic had similar and he said, ‘What are you doing, ya idiot? Tell them you can’t play…this is bad’.
“But I said, ‘I need to play, I need to play’.
“I missed games at Christmas but after Dubai I thought I’d try to get back in.
“I couldn’t run. I was at about 60 or 70 per cent and was taking steroid injections.
“Retirement was a rumour that was flying about and I was like, ‘This is mental’.
“Did I start to think that? It did creep in, aye.
“People were texting me saying, ‘You aren’t retiring are you?’
“And I was like, ‘Hopefully not!
“The season before the injury was a killer. I played something like 60 games.
“Just before Brendan Rodgers left, I played against Motherwell and was captain. It was my first game in a while.
“I felt okay but I wasn’t supposed to play against Hearts as I was down for the Hibs game after that.
“Lennon came in and said, ‘I need you to play for us’ and obviously I was going to.
“I was due to play 60 minutes but I had to stay on with the way the game was going.
“But we had two days of rest and then Hibs and I was cramping up on the walk before the game.
“I was done. I couldn’t do core or sit-ups. It was horrible.
“It was the worst time of my life. It was so hard.”