Middlesbrough defender Daniel Ayala has reflected on a ‘crazy’ back problem that left him struggling to walk three weeks ago.
Ayala was seen on video, shared by fiance Hannah, being carried out of his own home just days before Boro’s trip to Brentford.
— Hannah O’Neill (@han_oneill1) March 17, 2018
An inflamed disc in his back left the defender in severe pain and lacking mobility, so much so that he had to be taken in on a wheelchair to see a specialist.
But in an astonishing recovery, the 27-year-old, appropriately nicknamed ‘Lazarus by his teammates, ended up by playing an hour in the 1-1 draw at Griffin Park.
“It has been a crazy period,” he told the Northern Echo. “Three weeks ago, to be honest, I couldn’t even really walk.
“There were a couple of times where I had to go in a wheelchair, but thankfully we got to the bottom of what was wrong and were able to deal with it.
“I feel great now. I feel fine and fresh, and I’m ready to push on in the final seven games.
“I’m fully recovered now. It was an inflammation of the discs in my back. I don’t know how it came or why it happened, but thankfully it has gone now.
“It was bad for a while, and I was in quite a bit of pain. The disc was pressing on the nerve, and that is why there were days where I couldn’t even walk. But it is okay now, it is fine.”
Despite the obvious discomfort during the week, Ayala was determined to recover in time to play on the Saturday to help Boro in their quest for promotion.
“I knew I wanted to play at Brentford,” he said. “All week, I was telling myself to keep going through the pain because I wanted to play in the game. It’s not just me though, I think the rest of the team would have been thinking exactly the same.
“We are fighting for the same thing – we are fighting to try to get the club back to where it belongs. We are all fighting to get back to the Premier League, and we are ready to do what it takes to succeed.
“To be honest, we didn’t do very well in the first half of the season, but now we are up there, doing well. We just have to keep pushing.”