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Back from the brink

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Christian Ziege has thanked his family for helping him back from the footballing brink.

Back on Boxing Day, the wing-back was rushed to hospital after the draw against Charlton after his thigh muscle blew up to twice it's size - the medical term for the condition is 'decompartmentalised'.

Two operations followed, the first released the pressure in the thigh and the second saw the surgeon stitch up a 10-inch incision.

Softly-spoken, the World Cup finalist admitted the obvious seriousness of the situation didn't sink in over those traumatic few days.

"To be honest I was quite calm in the situation," he recalled. "Maybe I didn't realise what was going on.

"I had the operation in the hospital and another four days later and, I don't know, I can't explain what happened.

"Obviously I've seen it afterwards and to come back and get my leg going the way it is again now has been hard work.

"I think if I was on my own throughout that time, without my family, I don't know if I would have had the same attitude. It wasn't easy but they helped me through."

Christian, 31, returned to action on the season's final day against Blackburn Rovers and played an hour against DC United in America last week before taking his summer break.

"I will keep working now and try to be fully fit for pre-season," he said. "I'll do that and hopefully be really fit and without injuries for next season."

A 10-inch scar down his left thigh acts as a permanent reminder to what was a career-threatening injury but Christian joked: "It is a bit tricky now to go to the beach! Yes, I will always remember it, but I am back now and looking ahead."