A suspected torn chest muscle left Warrnambool's Tom Bowman fighting for his life.
The 26-year-old thought he had injured himself while dominating on the field for South Rovers in their 21-point win against Old Collegians in late June.
"The left side of my chest was sore and I had a fever," Mr Bowman said.
"I didn't think too much of it."
However, when he took Monday and Tuesday off work from his role as a financial planner at McLaren Hunt Financial Group, his parents knew something was up.
"That was a hint to the folks that something wasn't quite right," Mr Bowman said.
On Tuesday night his mother Lee-anne and father Michael took him to South West Healthcare's emergency department.
Three hours later, Mr Bowman was in surgery.
His body was battling the flesh-eating disease necrotizing fasciitis.
"I remember lying on the table and that's about it," Mr Bowman said.
Read more:Bowman out of induced coma
After the initial surgery he was rushed to The Alfred hosptial and placed in an induced coma.
Mr Bowman underwent four surgeries to remove tissue affected by the disease to ensure it hadn't spread to other parts of his body.
He said doctors told him he was lucky it hadn't began attacking his organs.
"I was very lucky - the doctors were saying I was unlucky to have caught it initially but I was very lucky we jumped on it when we did," Mr Bowman said.
"If we had waited another 12 to 24 hours it may have got to my organs.
"As far as I'm aware we got it in the nick of time."
For that he will be eternally grateful to his parents.
"I'm very thankful they came around and kicked me into gear," Mr Bowman said.
He has been home for several weeks and is planning to return to work later this week.
Mr Bowman said he had restricted movement in his left arm and would undergo physiotherapy in the coming weeks.
He said his work and footy club had been extremely supportive.
Mr Bowman hopes to pull on the cricket whites for Wesley-CBC Cricket Club at the end of the year and plans to return to the field for South Rovers in the 2020 season.
"Everyone has been fantastic - they did a great job at South West Healthcare," Mr Bowman said.
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