Former Fulham midfielder Kevin McDonald says he’s thrilled to be training again as he returns to football after a kidney transplant.
The Scotland international hopes to resume his career, having sidelined last season with serious illness
His brother Fraser donated a kidney so McDonald could have surgery in the spring – and he recently trained with Fulham Academy and his former club Dundee.
He is now hoping to find a new club and has spoken to Sky Sports about the operation he had to undergo and his gratitude to his brother.
Kevin McDonald opens up about trauma from his kidney transplant and how much he enjoys going back to the soccer field
“In the end, it was my brother who stepped forward,” he said.
“The gesture on his part was incredible, there are no words in the dictionary to describe my love for him, the fact that he experienced it himself.
“You go into this room [for the surgery], I was scared for my life of course – they put in what puts you to sleep and I couldn’t stop shaking.
“They were brilliant and were trying to relax me, but at this point you can’t relax, there’s no way.
“And you don’t think about the after-effects, but the first thing I tried to do was get up as usual and I was like ‘oh I can’t do this’ – it wasn’t a excruciating pain but bothersome pain.
“You just have to adapt and that’s how it is for the first two or three days.”
Remarkably, McDonald is now trying to get his career back, but he admits it wasn’t easy at first.
“When I first put on boots I thought I was okay, but the ground was rock solid,” he said.
“It was good to put the boots back on but three hours later it was the worst thing I have ever done!
“My whole body was in pieces.
“But it was good, of course, it was a buzz to put the boots back on.
“I didn’t know how my body would handle these kinds of movements.
“That was the question – would I be able to play football again?
“And that first session was tough, but it was so good to be involved again – the jokes, the kickback, being in and among a football team.
“It was the first stop among many – it was difficult back then but it was really necessary.”