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Home Maidstone Sport Article
Michael Phillips’ professional career was wrecked by injury –and he’s ready to risk further pain to help his Maidstone team-mates.
Phillips, 31, has delayed a knee operation until the end of the season in the hope he’ll play a part in United’s promotion run-in.
He’s aiming to recover from an ankle problem in time for the top-of-the-table home game with Dulwich Hamlet next weekend, but he’ll still be nursing a tear in his cartilage that doctors have warned could get worse if he plays on before surgery.
The popular midfielder, known as ‘Iniesta’ to Stones fans due to his resemblance to the Barcelona star, said: “The surgeon said I could possibly make the knee worse but I thought I’d risk it. I’m sure another 10 games or so won’t kill me.
“Hopefully, the ankle will be right for the Dulwich game and I’ll be able to get through with the knee. I’m not the best when it comes to watching."
Phillips was a promising young player at Gillingham and made his debut as a substitute against Blackburn in the old Division 1 in 2001, but it turned out to be his only appearance. A botched knee operation left him struggling to walk and led to his retirement in 2004.
He said: "The surgeon squashed a nerve behind my knee which left me near-enough crippled for two years. At one time I wasn’t sure if I’d even be able to walk or run again properly.
“I retired and it took me a few years to get over it but it’s important to take the positives and I’ve enjoyed playing non-league."
Read the full interview in Friday's Kent Messenger.
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