Ched Evans’ illness made footy ace go home thinking he’d trained before it began

Ched Evans hopes his injury nightmare is behind him as the Preston North End striker plans to return to action after seven months out.

The former Manchester City youngster last played in March this year, cutting short last season where he scored nine goals in 26 Championship games, when symptoms of an illness he was struggling with became unignorable. Evans had been suffering from blackouts on the pitch, feeling ‘electric shocks’ through his body and losing all feeling in his arms for two years.

But after a game against Rotherham United last season, Evans admitted he couldn’t remember his kids’ names the following day before turning up to training on a day where he couldn’t suppress his symptoms any longer.

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In an emotional interview with Preston ahead of his return, Evans said: "I came into training the day after, I think I just walked around and went home. I thought I’d trained. I remember Jacko (Matt Jackson, Head of Medicine) ringing me and asking where I was, and I think that set the alarm bells off for him.

“He suggested we go and see a specialist. In the back of my mind, I knew what the surgeon was going to say because of the symptoms I’d been feeling for a couple of years. We went down to London and he asked me when I thought about retiring and I said, ‘When my body gives up’ and he just replied with, ‘I think that’s it now, you’re so close to being paralysed from the neck down’.”

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The former Wales international subsequently underwent successful surgery to take away the pressure being put on his spinal cord, which caused the electric shocks. After setbacks in his recovery, Evans finally got the green light to return to full-contact training whenever he felt ready.

He added: “The reality of it is there’s no risk like there was seven months ago. I’m fit. Obviously I need to play games and stuff like that, but for me it’s turned out to be the perfect outcome, although it’s taken a while to get there. I can only be grateful I am here today and able to play football again which is mega.”

Evans is available and in contention to face Millwall in the early Championship kick-off on Saturday in front of his home fans at Deepdale, who will be ready to give him a moving reception.

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