Chelsea defender Gary Cahill has revealed a persistent gall bladder problem almost made him miss the end of the season.

Cahill missed Chelsea’s 4-2 FA Cup victory over Tottenham Hotspurs in the FA Cup semi final because of the condition, but doctors opted not to carry out a surgery.

He however played — and scored — in the Blues’ midweek victory over Southampton, and revealed it was a very trying time for him.

“It was a good end to a nightmare week. I was glad to be back on the pitch,” he said.

“I was in hospital for one night. I had a viral infection, a problem with my gall bladder, causing me a lot of pain. They kept me overnight. I got rid of the pain and recovered, but it was too late to make the semi-final.

“It’s something I’ve had since I was small. It is just a matter of keeping an eye on it. The worst thing was if they had had to take it out, and that would have set me back for the season. I was happy that wasn’t the case. It’s just a matter of monitoring it.

“There have been times when I knew it was going to come on and I’d take strong painkillers. If you catch it in midweek it’s okay, but the night before a game is not ideal. You can be up all night. It was on top of the viral infection. When I was in there they tested my blood and wanted keep me in.

“I’d not trained one minute until Sunday, I’d not eaten anything and I’d lost weight. It was obviously not ideal. I was disappointed. I just wanted to get back out there. It was so frustrating watching at Wembley, but I was delighted the lads won.

“Then someone stood on my head in training on Monday, so it has not been a fantastic week. I’ve been in the wars.”

He revealed his delight at the goal and for teammate Diego Costa, who ended his scoring drought with a second half brace.

“The timing of my goal was crucial, he said. “At 1-1 they thought they were back in it. That’s when you have to call upon your experience,”

“I’d be lying if I said nerves didn’t kick in. We know how vitally important these results are.

“I was delighted for Diego. His second goal was absolutely brilliant. He put in a fantastic performance.

“To see him scoring was great. It is what he has been like for the majority of the season. I’m buzzing that he scored and put in a display like that.

“We have full confidence, full belief in Diego. As a squad and as players, we know what he can produce. We just wait for him to deliver and he did against Southampton. It was only going to be a matter of time.”