SHAUN Batt admits he nearly retired during his injury nightmare – but says playing at Wembley on Saturday would help to heal the scars from his agonising recovery.
Batt's knee was torn apart during a pre-season friendly in 2010 but finally feels back to his best after returning from a rehabilitative loan spell at League One side Leyton Orient.
Batt, who scored three goals in 13 appearances while at Brisbane Road, was recalled by boss Kenny Jackett this week and made a substitute appearance in the 2-1 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.
And after being praised by Jackett for his cameo performance against the Owls, Batt is hoping to be involved in the Lions' FA Cup semi-final against Wigan at the national stadium.
He said: "I have had a lot of lows at Millwall and I have had a lot of highs, but the highs outweigh the lows. If I get a chance to be involved on Saturday, it'll be one of the best moments of my career.
"There were quite a few moments when I questioned whether it was all worth it. Am I ever going to be the same? Am I ever going to be as good? Am I going to be as quick?
"But I've never been a quitter and I will never give up. Occasions like the Wigan game make me glad I persevered and carried on. It was all worth it in the end.
"Since I was recalled, I've not had time to sit back and take a breath. It's all happened rather quickly. But if I have the chance to be involved on Saturday, I'll be delighted."
Batt felt his time with the O's was "exactly what he needed" and believes he has returned to SE16 as a much fitter – and more confident – player.
He explained: "I definitely feel I am in a much better condition after being out on loan. Hopefully, I can come back and prove a point and have an impact in the squad.
"I had no idea I was coming back. I just had a voicemail saying I'd been recalled and to report to the training ground. After my injury lay-off, getting back to match fitness had been difficult.
"Being involved at Orient gave me confidence in my body. The manager there, Russell Slade, really looked after me. He knew about the injury problems and the condition I was in.
"He did not force me to train or stay out on the pitch if I was struggling. He has enabled me to come back a far better player."
Batt is due to become a free agent in the summer but will be hoping to impress sufficiently before the end of the season to earn a new contract.
But he said: "I've tried not to think about it. That's out of my hands. If I do well enough on the pitch then that will take care of itself. We'll wait and see what happens after that."