Ward feared worst

Melbourne Victory midfielder Nick Ward has said he genuinely feared his career could be brought to a premature finish by a nasty bacterial infection that invaded his abdomen.

Melbourne Victory midfielder Nick Ward has said he genuinely feared his career could be brought to a premature finish by a nasty bacterial infection that invaded his abdomen.

Ward described the pain from the condition, which has laid him low since mid-September, as almost unbearable.

Doctors believe the 24-year-old may have contracted the infection when he was prescribed a series of injections to treat a groin injury earlier in the year.

It's likely the staphylococcus bacteria lay dormant in his muscle tissue for several months before suddenly flaring.

It was in the days after the Victory's Round 7 win over Adelaide at Hindmarsh Stadium - when Ward struck one of the goals of the season in the 2-0 result - that he collapsed at home without warning.

"It was pretty scary, I thought that was my career over," said Ward.

"I've had osteitis pain before, but this was 10-times the pain, it was unbearable."

"I was throwing up from the pain."

"It gradually got worse and worse throughout the night and I wasn't able to walk after that."

Ward said his situation wasn't helped by the fact the condition was initially misdiagnosed.

He eventually spent two weeks on an intravenous drip and lost five kilograms during his ordeal.

The club was hopeful at the time that he would miss just three or four weeks but, now, more than two months on, Ward is finally ready to return to the senior line-up after making it safely through the club's past two youth league fixtures.

"I need a bit more match fitness, but I'm feeling a lot fitter, I've got all my weight back on so I'm back to 80 kilos and feeling strong," he said.

"I'm fresh, and hopefully I can have a good run to the finals."

Ward said he's looking forward to completing the season injury-free after a devastating and freakish run of bad luck over the past couple of seasons.

"It's been a tough two years for me, I've just had one thing to the next and they've all been pretty random as well," he said.

"I even tore my tendon in my soleus, which is a walking muscle, last year."

"(Coach) Ernie (Merrick) made a joke saying that I've got the weirdest injuries in the club."

"I'm hoping that it's the last of everything."