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Michael Smith pledges to play on despite horror abscess operation

Phil Lanning in Darts Interviews 26 Feb 2019
Bully Boy’ Smith reacts (credit:Taylor Lanning)
Michael Smith has vowed to battle through the pain barrier after undergoing emergency surgery on an abscess.
The World Championship runner-up was rushed into hospital on Monday after the injury flared-up on his groin.
Smith, 28, underwent an operation after the abscess burst but has decided to play on at the Unibet Premier League in Exeter on Thursday and the Ladbrokes UK Open over the weekend.
He revealed: “I had an abscess on my groin, it was five centimetres long when I went into the walk-in centre. When the docs first saw it they said it was past the antibiotics stage so they sent me to hospital.
“An hour later it was 10 centimetres long. So docs said they were going to give me an op to cut it out immediately.
“But I was sat in the waiting room and I could feel my leg burning. So I told them they’d have to check me again and then it was already 13 centimetres long and had burst and my leg was covered in blood.
“So they had to get the surgeons in quick and slice it open to take it all out so I didn’t get septicaemia. The pain was unreal because I was conscious throughout all of it. 
“Now I’ve got a nice slice down my groin on the left side. I don’t know what caused it at all. About six weeks ago I noticed my veins were showing but I had no pain so didn’t think it was anything that bad.
“But when I woke up last Sunday in Barnsley on the ProTour it was a big lump and I couldn’t walk, but I just played on. There suddenly was a big red line down my leg and that’s where the abscess was getting into my blood.
“I came home and my wife Dagmara made me go to the docs on Monday and just as well she did really. 
“I was just being a bloke and not getting it checked thinking it will heal itself, it could have been really dangerous to get blood poisoning.”
Smith, last year’s Premier League runner-up has performed well in his opening three fixtures this season but has just one point to show for his efforts so far.
He faces Raymond van Barneveld at the Westpoint Arena in Exeter looking to leapfrog the Dutchman and move off the foot of the table.
He added: “I will be playing on this week in Exeter and then Minehead. I’m not sure how I will be but I’m going whatever happens – I can’t afford to take the time off.
“I’m on pain killers and antibiotics. I’ve got strapping round my leg and groin which has to be changed every day.
“It’s not easy though because you have to open up the wound and re-pack inside and then put the plaster and strapping back over it to protect it from further infection.
“It’s been a tough start to the Premier League. My leg hasn’t really helped to be honest. It’s been there for six weeks and bugging me a bit and stressing me out. I should have just got it checked earlier.”