Ivan Thomas overcomes back injury to make Kent debut
Kent seamer Ivan Thomas said his debut was a "dream come true" but revealed a back injury nearly ended his career.
Thomas, 20, suffered a triple stress fracture of his back four years ago, but recovered to make his debut against Essex on Wednesday.
"I worked really hard on my fitness and getting my back back together," he told BBC Radio Kent.
"I'm here today, which is a dream come true. It's been a bit of a blur but I've really enjoyed it."
With Matt Coles on England Lions duty, Thomas earned his call-up to the first team after impressing for Leeds/Bradford MCCU.
The right-arm paceman took a career best 6-21 as the university side beat Sussex by 79 runs last week.
But Thomas revealed it was touch and go as to whether he could even make it at the highest level.
"I started off with a few back problems so I went down there (to the St Lawrence Ground) for a bit of help with my action," he said.
"They gave me a trial game for the under-16s. I got in, played a season there but then had to have a year out through my back injury.
"I then had a year back in the under-17s which went really well, I had a really good season.
"I had a year out again so they said if it goes again, that's pretty much it.
"I worked really hard in the rehabilitation, a lot of core work. I haven't had too many problems since."