Wembley-bound Jack Hughes has opened up on the excruciating pain of playing with a ruptured testicle.
But “the worst pain he’d ever experienced” plus the alarming way his testicle was swelling up convinced him he needed help.
But even then, after playing for 35 minutes with it, Hughes offered to walk to the hospital in Perpignan rather than wait for an ambulance.
Wolves’ co-captain, who will be fit to face St Helens in Saturday’s Challenge Cup final, said: “When I got kneed it was the worst pain ever. I would not wish that on anyone.
“I couldn’t stand up for five minutes but then I thought I’d be able to run it off and initially it eased off.
“But it started getting worse and I was struggling to run at high speed so I knew something wasn’t right.
“I came off and when I saw how big my testicle had swollen I started to get worried.
“I was in such pain whether I stood up or sat down so I said I’d walk to the hospital because it was nearby but the ambulance thankfully arrived.”
After an ultra-sound scan, Hughes was told he needed surgery urgently and that he may lose his testicle.
He said: “The surgeon said he was hopeful but also assured me that many people get by with one if I did end up losing it.
“I phoned my wife Beth and she was pretty worried. It made it 10 times worse that I was in a different country and she couldn’t be with me.
“I phoned her when I came round and said I’d still got two intact so she was alright then. Now she just takes the mickey.”
His Warrington team-mates have also been weighing in with the wise cracks even though he has fully recovered.
He said: “I have had every joke you could think of and most of them are too rude to reveal.
“But I am now called Half A Sack Jack or One Ball Paul – they’ve turned my testicles into a double act.
“It’s pretty hysterical to be honest.”
Hughes missed Warrington’s last two games but is confident he will be fit for Wembley.
He’s lost his previous two Cup finals with Warrington, last year and in 2016, and said: “I’m hungrier than ever.
“They say success tastes best when you have experienced defeat and hopefully that’s me this weekend.”
Stand off Blake Austin and winger Josh Charnley will be given until Friday to prove their fitness.
Saints prop Matty Lees is ruled out with an abdominal problem.