Cobblers attacker Dean Bowditch has admitted he felt a sense of panic as he suffered difficulty with his breathing in the 1-1 draw with Stevenage at the PTS Academy Stadium last weekend.
The 32-year-old had to call for treatment midway through the second half of Saturday’s clash, which was played out in freezing rain and strong winds, as he struggled to catch his breath.
I started to panic a little bit, and once I got in the doctor checked me over and calmed me down and I was okayDean Bowditch
Referee Chris Sarginson called on the medical staff, including the club doctor, and Bowditch was treated on the field of play before being substituted and led into the changing rooms.
There, the player was assessed and reassured that everything was okay, and that a combination of very cold temperatures, heavy rain and strong winds had been the cause of his breathing issues, rather than anything more serious.
That was an obvious relief for the former Milton Keynes Dons man, who just a few weeks ago saw club-mate Leon Barnett forced to retire from playing due to a serious heart condition that only came to light this season.
“I struggled with getting air in,” said Bowditch, who has been declared fully fit after the incident and was back in training this week ahead of Saturday’s trip to Yeovil Town.
“You look at the conditions, and a lot of the players said they were struggling when I spoke to them after the game, but I think I struggled more than most.
“I started to panic a little bit, and once I got in the doctor checked me over and calmed me down and I was okay.
“But even my family said to me that I looked like a ghost after the game, so I must have been struggling.
“After the what happened with Barney (Leon Barnett), things do go through your mind and you think ‘is this something I need to get checked over?’
“But the doctor was quite reassuring, and hopefully it is just a one-off thing and it won’t happen again.”
The incident curtailed what had arguably been Bodwitch’s best performance in a Cobblers shirt to date.
He had netted his first goal since signing for the club in the summer of 2017, and had also gone close on another couple of occasions in a very encouraging showing.
Town seemed to lose their way once he was forced to go off, and although Bowditch admitted it was a disappointment that the team dropped two more points at home, he wanted to look on the positive side.
“We obviously wanted to win the game and felt that we had the chances in the first half to kill the game off, which is what you need to do with these teams,” he said.
“But Stevenage are a good team. They were right up there at the start of the season before dropping off a bit, and they have some good players.
“As we said after the game, we were eight points off the play-offs before kick-off and now we are seven points off it, and you have to look at that as a positive and there is only one way we want to go.”