Hibs star Scott Allan has revealed he was diagnosed with the heart condition Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy earlier this season.
The former Dundee United and Dundee playmaker missed nearly five months of football before returning to action on January 23 against St Johnstone in the Betfred Cup semi-final at Hampden.
And the 29-year-old – who has lived with type 1 diabetes since the age of three – feared his career was over.
Speaking to presenter David Tanner on Hibs TV, Allan said: “I’ve had a period of being back on the training pitch and got what I was aiming for back on the football pitch.
“So I feel now is a good time and I feel well within myself to speak about what I went through.
🗣 Scott Allan "I feared I wouldn't play again"
📽 Today, the midfielder tells of his journey over the last few months. pic.twitter.com/jMhmtZkFVG
— Hibernian FC (@HibernianFC) February 19, 2021
“I was diagnosed with a condition called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.
“That’s where the walls of the heart chamber become slightly thicker and it makes it hard to pump blood in and out of the heart.
“Relating to the symptoms I felt, which led me to get these tests, it makes you fatigued with less oxygen throughout your body.
“I was getting dizzy spells – it all kind of integrated together.
‘I feared I wouldn’t play again’
“When the professor told me what I had I knew that’s why I was suffering from those symptoms.
“The big one was fatigue – I was fatiguing really quickly while I was playing at that moment.
“I really feared I wouldn’t play again.
“The way I’d been feeling up until I had that test physically and what I could give on a football pitch at that time was really worrying.”
The ex-Celtic midfielder says his five-year-old son Zac was his motivation to make a comeback.
He added: “I think when you’ve lived your life with type one diabetes from such an early age, it was always in the back of my head that if anything was going to cause me problems it would’ve been that.
“So to be diagnosed with something else while you’re still in your prime – and I was really looking forward to this season and trying to stamp my authority on the park – it was a really difficult time in terms of telling your family.
“When you’ve got these kind of people close to you it spurs you on.
“I’ve got a young son who, for me, I always want to come to games to watch me play football.
“That was a real motivation for me to get back on the park.”
The need for games
Allan – who last appeared for Hibs in last month’s 1-0 home defeat to Rangers – admits he won’t be back to his best for the Easter Road side until he gets an extended run in the first-team.
He said: “I’m definitely not back at 100 per cent because I’ve not even been able to get a bounce game.
“But in terms of training fitness and general fitness outside of football it is the best I’ve felt.
“I won’t be 100 per cent until I’ve had games under my belt. Hopefully that comes soon.
“But if not, I’ll get a pre-season under my belt and I’ll go from there again.
“I want to enjoy playing as much as I can. When you have that doubt that you might not, sometimes you take it for granted.
“I just want to enjoy every moment of it. I know that’s quite cliché but it’s as true as it gets for me.”