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Franjic draws line under tough two years

AAP logoAAP 8/11/2016 Emma Kemp

Ivan Franjic can still recall the frightening August night he was awoken by chest pain.

The Melbourne City defender had been suffering from a rare inflammatory condition that, unbeknown to him at the time, was impacting his heart.

Called myocarditis, the condition was brought on by a virus and hit during pre-season when he was least expecting it.

"I had a virus, I was sick for one week, then one night I woke up in the middle of the night and my chest and heart were hurting," Franjic said.

"I went to hospital and ended up staying there for six days.

"It's something that, at the time, was very frustrating and disappointing, and I didn't know if I was ever going to play this beautiful game again."

City didn't know either, and the club understandably couldn't put a date on Franjic's return.

It couldn't have come at a worse time for the 29-year-old, who had been at his fittest since sustaining a bad hamstring injury at the 2014 World Cup in Rio.

"I'd been coming back from good conditioning into pre-season, and just to get a setback like that is something I never expected, Franjic said.

"It just shows you can't take anything for granted in life because it can happen at any time.

"But the heart specialist said it's all clear, I just have to get a check-up here and there just to make sure in the future."

Franjic recounts the tough times in the knowledge they're finally behind him, having played six minutes in Friday night's 1-0 loss to Brisbane to build on last month's three-minute FFA Cup semi-final cameo.

He hopes to get a longer stint against Newcastle on Thursday night, though the Socceroos are also in the back of his mind.

Franjic hasn't played for Australia since June last year before his injury-affected first season at City.

Yet he knows Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou is still on the hunt for a more permanent right-back.

"I'm always an ambitious person," Franjic said.

"The most important thing is I get back playing for Melbourne City, playing well, and then anything can happen.

"It's a long time in between camps but I've got a lot to look forward to with City.

"I'm ready for however long they need me - if it's one minute or 90."

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