Everyone goes through tough times in their lives and careers.

For King Mo Lawal, that time seems to be now. He recently tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, underwent ACL surgery and even worse, battled a potentially life-threatening staph infection that put him in the hospital for 12 days. Here’s King Mo telling that scary story to Cage Potato:

“I was in the hospital for 12 days and I had five procedures to remove the staph infection from my knee. I didn’t even know there was anything wrong until I came back from Brazil, and my knee was swollen. I couldn’t flex my leg or bend it. That’s when I started doing this rehab stuff after taking the S-Mass Lean Gainer, because that was like my rehab supplement. It’s supposed to be like NO-explode. So I was taking that for a week, and I was like ‘Man, it’s not working.’ My knee was still swollen, and I couldn’t flex my leg. I went to the [orthopedic surgeon] and got my knee drained and got the ‘rooster cartilage’ [orthovisc] injected in. I went for an MRI and [the doctor] told me that my cartilage looked very unstable and that I had torn my ACL. The funny thing is, he said I could have torn it a long time ago, because when he drained my knee, there was no blood there. He told me my ACL was torn and I was gonna need a new one. After the fight, I had the surgery. A week passed, I was doing rehab a little ahead of schedule, and all the sudden my leg started feeling hot and I had these two golf ball-sized welts on my knee.”

“It was the day of the Evans/Davis fight. I called the doctor and told him my leg was hot and I had these golf ball lumps on my knee, so he says ‘Come to the office and we’ll check it out.’ He drained my knee, and the blood was like Ghostbusters ectoplasm. It was thick and gooey. He took the blood to the lab, and I went home to watch the fights. Right after Sonnen-Bisping, I got a phone call. ‘Mo, meet me at the hospital now.’ He said ‘We have to take you under right now to clean out the infection in your knee.’ So they took me to surgery and cleaned it out. I wake up, and I have a PICC line in my arm that’s attached to my heart. I didn’t think it was that bad and that I was gonna leave Sunday. The doctor said he was keeping me until Monday. Monday comes, and my temperature shot up to 103 or 104, and my knee was still swollen. They took me back into surgery and cleaned it out again. He did the same procedures every other day, depending on how it looked and how my temperature was.”

Rumors have persisted that the ordeal ravaged King Mo financially since it fell outside Zuffa’s accidental insurance coverage, but he insists those rumors aren’t true. He says “it’s taken care of,” implying that Zuffa stepped up and paid for it. Update: Zuffa did not pay for it according to Robert Joyner in the comments.

Lawal is still dealing with a steroid suspension, but at least his health is on the right track again. A 12-month suspension is just a minor bump in the road compared to not having his health or worse.

Image via Dave Mandel for Sherdog