FORMER Ireland midfielder Stephen McPhail has revealed his delight at making his return to action with Championship side Cardiff City after winning his battle with cancer.
The Dubliner had been out of action since November after he was diagnosed with lymph-node cancer, which could have ended his career. But since then he's undergone radiotherapy treatment and is now able to play again.
"I was delighted to get on the pitch a few weeks ahead of schedule," said McPhail, who made his return in Friday's Championship defeat away by leaders Newcastle United.
"To get the shout for such a big game was great. The result was a kick in the teeth, but it was wonderful from a personal perspective to be involved. I had my last treatment about five weeks ago, so it has come around quickly.
"I feel I'm back to where I want to be. I needed to get back out there on the pitch playing football. Everyone thought I wouldn't be back for at least a couple of months, but the goal of getting back out on the pitch helped me pull through," added the former Leeds man.
"I got the all-clear on Wednesday to train again with the lads and that gave me a real lift."