Posted on: Mon 23 Jul 2012

Daniel Sturridge has praised the work of the Chelsea medical department after recovering from viral meningitis and being afforded the opportunity to fulfil his Olympic dream.

The 22-year-old played 45 minutes for Team GB in their 2-0 warm-up defeat against Brazil at the Riverside Stadium on Friday night, but the Blues attacker was just grateful to be involved after suddenly contracting the illness at the beginning of the month.

'I just remember going along to a school one Thursday, handing out medals to kids, and I think I must have caught the bug there. I felt absolutely fine before that,' he said. 'I would not wish what I have had on my worst enemy.

'It is a really difficult thing to get through and, without the help of the Chelsea doctor, my family and my girlfriend, it would have been even more difficult.

'I was fortunate enough to have a doctor who saw the warning signs straight away and got me off to a hospital bed immediately.'

With the London games now only a matter of days away, the excitement is building throughout the country, and nowhere more so than in the capital.

Having missed out on taking part in the European Championships, Sturridge had been desperate to be a part of the first ever Great Britain football team having been called up by manager Stuart Pearce along with club teammate Ryan Bertrand, but he admitted that, at one point, his participation looked in serious doubt.

'I was quarantined for five days and if I hadn't taken any antibiotics in the hospital, I wouldn't have had a chance of taking part in the Olympics,' said Sturridge.

'I am not going to say I would have died but I don't think I would have recovered as quickly as I have done and been here today.

'I went from being in tip-top condition suddenly to being sick and feeling weak. It was even difficult for me to walk.

'I thought that all my hopes and dreams of taking part in the Olympics were over.'