'I'll keep going until it's physically impossible to play' - Hibs defender Darren McGregor reveals groin injury could have ended his career
Easter Road stalwart admits it was touch-and-go as a minor groin complaint threatened to call time on his playing days
Darren McGregor has revealed how what was initially thought to be a minor groin injury could have ended his career.
The 34-year-old ended up being ruled out for three-and-a-half months and at one point considered surgery in order to alleviate the persistent aches and pains preventing his comeback.
But a warning that there would be no way back for the former Cowdenbeath, St Mirren and Rangers defender if the operation went wrong soon made that option a non-starter.
Instead, McGregor knuckled down for the long road back to fitness as he worked to strengthen his core and thigh muscles in order to ensure the strain was taken off his problem groin.
The graft paid off and he is now back in contention for a starting slot in Jack Ross' side ahead of Friday night's visit of Rangers to Easter Road.
McGregor - who penned a new four-year deal back in April - said: "I've been back training for close to four weeks and I feel good. It's been a long, arduous journey - probably a lot longer than I expected.
Injury 'grew arms and legs'
"Initially I was only expecting to be out for a couple of weeks.
"But it seemed to grow arms and legs and it was a deep, ingrained muscle injury in my groin area.
"It's good to finally get over it. I need to thank the physio department. I could have gone down the route of surgery at one point but thankfully they were patient, stuck with me and now I'm back feeling as strong as I did before.
'If op didn't work , it could have been the end'
"A lot of people might have jumped into saying I needed an operation but our head of sports science Nathan Ring did have a conversation with me and say if the op didn't work it could be the end of my career.
"It was a pretty frank discussion but I took it on the chin and decided to do it the right way. It was sheer perseverance and hard work for 14 weeks building up my core, my gluts and my abductors and thankfully I've got over it.
"Now I just want to keep going until my body says no. I'll keep going until it's physically impossible to play. You might think that's silly but I love the game."