Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has revealed that a "depressive state" prompted him to withdraw from England contention.
The centre-back was called up to the Three Lions squad to face San Marino and Montenegro in March but turned down the chance to represent his country as part of a strict rehabilitation programme.
The 34-year-old was criticised heavily for the snub but Ferdinand has now explained that there was more to it than what was reported at the time.
"It is only now I can talk about what I was really going through," he told The Sun.
"I was trying to put a brave face on it but of course I was worried about the future. Two or three years ago people were saying I was finished and I remember those dark days. I was in a depressive state. I will admit that.
"I couldn't even go in the garden and have a little kickabout with the kids. It was embarrassing. I couldn't pick them up and put them on my shoulders because of the pain."
Ferdinand represented England 81 times over a 14 year international career, scoring three goals.