LONDON: Chelsea forward Daniel Sturridge has thanked the club’s medical team for helping save his Olympic dream after he came close to withdrawing from the GB squad after going down with viral meningitis three weeks ago.

Yet he was fit enough to play in the opening 45 minutes of Team GB’s 2-0 defeat by Brazil in last Friday’s warm-up friendly in Middlesbrough.

Sturridge said: “I thought that all my hopes and dreams of taking part in the Olympics were over. 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 would not wish what I have had on my worst enemy.”

The 22-year-old made 45 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions last season, scoring 13 goals in a campaign which saw Roberto Di Matteo’s side finish sixth in the Premier League, while winning the Champions League and the FA Cup.

He added: “I  was fortunate enough to have a doctor who saw the warning signs straight away and got me off to a hospital bed immediately. 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 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.”

Team GB open their first Olympic finals campaign in 52 years against Senegal at Old Trafford on Thursday.

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