Wrexham forward Paul Mullin has admitted to ignoring medical advice following his long-awaited return from injury.
Back in July, the 28-year-old striker feared for his life after colliding with Manchester United goalkeeper Nathan Bishop in the first half of their pre-season clash in San Diego.
Mullin, who required oxygen from medical staff and received seven minutes of treatment before walking off the pitch, was later diagnosed with a punctured lung.
After just under two months on the sidelines, he returned to the first-team fold.
"I came back a lot quicker than expected," he said via The Mirror. "I was told by one specialist that it could have been six months (out). That would have been the end of the world for me."
Mullin added: "But it does still feel like a long-term injury, as I haven’t played a proper full game since April against Yeovil at home. This (against Crewe) was my first 90 minutes for a really long time.
"It has been the first injury to keep me out longer than a week. It has been pleasing to score but I know I’ve still got to work as hard as I can to make me feel as good as last year."
The former Swindon and Tranmere forward also revealed that he'd been told by medical staff to wear protective padding on his chest following his punctured lung.
But Mullin has decided against following the medical advice.
"I was meant to wear it for a few weeks," he added. "But I’d rather take the pain and play in discomfort. To be fair, my ribs are 100 per cent now, apart from when I lay in bed. I’ve had to become accustomed to sleeping on my right side."
As mentioned earlier, Mullin said he feared for his life following the incident in July.
Writing in a column for The Athletic, he explained: "I was trying to breathe in but nothing was happening. I couldn't get air into my lungs. That's when I knew it was bad.
"In that struggle for breath, with my lips turning blue, I accepted that this could be it for me. That's how it felt. I couldn't breathe properly for a few minutes."
He added: "I remember, a few seconds earlier, getting my head to the ball and then going down.
"For someone like me who will do that kind of thing again and again, being winded is something I'm used to. It usually lasts around 10 seconds and is never nice. Only this time, I couldn't shake it."