Hibs winger Harry McKirdy says he is beginning to "feel like a normal human again" after undergoing heart surgery and spending five weeks in hospital.
Routine scans detected a potential issue with McKirdy's heart when he returned for pre-season this summer.
“It didn’t feel real to be honest,” the 26-year-old told the Hibs website.
“I’d been training fine, I felt good in pre-season, and came back sharp and fit. It’s something I didn’t expect to find. Luckily for me they did find it and it’s all sorted now.
“It was probably a scary time for my family and people around me because they have to be with you, see you go through it, see you have surgery, and spend a lot of time in hospital.
“I had five or five and a half weeks in London in hospital. I had great support in the hospital and from my family and friends. They were really looking after me and I’m thankful for that.”
While he will still be out long term, effervescent character McKirdy is stepping up his recovery and exuding positvity, as well as relief.
“I feel a lot better now,” he added. “After the surgery I had to have a lot of medication, but now I’m coming off that and I’m starting to feel more like myself, have more energy, and feel like a normal human again.
“It’s nice to be back out of hospital and get back into a normal routine. It’s been good to get back into the gym and running a little bit, just starting to feel like a footballer again.
“You have to look on the bright side - there have been footballers that have had similar issues recently that have had a lot scarier moments than me and on the pitch, so I’m thankful that they found it before, and it was as calm as it could’ve been. I’m feeling much better now.”