Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn has opened up on the time he was almost fatally hit with a training pole at St Mirren.
The Scotland international is making a name for himself down south, but if it wasn’t for a slice of good fortune, things could’ve been very different for him.
He’s recalled the time a training pole pierced his leg, missing an artery by a single millimeter.
McGinn told the Daily Mail (page 110, 26/10/19): “We were doing a possession drill involving training poles. Steven Thompson picked up a pole and tried to throw it into the grass, but he hadn’t seen me turn and it went into my thigh. It was a freak accident.
“It was a millimetre away from the [femoral] artery. I was a millimetre from not playing football at all, not even breathing. It was not until I met the surgeon that I realised I was lucky to be alive. It was pretty scary.
“When I spoke to the surgeon, I was worried — “Oh no, what’s going on here?” When he told me how fortunate I was, I had no thoughts of my career. I was grateful it wasn’t worse.”
McGinn is lucky to still be playing
This was a terrible ordeal for the young midfielder at the time and one that could’ve ended far worse. He’s lucky to still be able to walk, never mind thrive at the highest level.
It goes to show how quickly things can change. One minute McGinn was learning his trade in Paisley, the next he was fighting to save his career.
Even a training pole to the leg couldn’t halt McGinn’s progress. He’s went from strength to strength since his Buddies stint and is now a key cog in Dean Smith’s Villa side.
It doesn’t take away from how scary this incident must have been for the midfielder.