IN the not-too-distant past, Miles Addison was rubbing shoulders with the cream of the country’s rising stars.

Handed his Championship debut as a 17-year-old, Addison looked destined to follow in the footsteps of fellow Derby County academy graduate Tom Huddlestone.

Like Huddlestone before him, Addison was recognised by England, his one and only cap for the under-21s coming in a European Championship qualifier against Greece in September 2009.

A second-half replacement for Jack Rodwell during the 1-1 draw in Tripoli, Addison’s team-mates included Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere, Daniel Sturridge and Tom Cleverley.

Voted young player of the year at Derby in 2008-09, Addison was hot property with Premier League Stoke City rumoured to have tabled a £2million bid for him when he was just 19.

However, despite appearing set to enjoy all the trappings of a career at the highest level, Addison’s world came crashing down when he was diagnosed with a rare foot injury.

Addison, who last week became Cherries’ fourth summer signing following a loan spell at Dean Court, told the Daily Echo: “All together, I missed between 18 months and two years with the injury.

“In my opinion, it didn’t get sorted to begin with. The surgeons said I just had to try to get on with it or quit.

“I tried to play through it for about a year but it became too much for me and I just couldn’t go on.”

Addison was on the verge of hanging up his boots when Derby physio Neil Sullivan managed to locate a specialist in America who was prepared to operate. In March 2010, he went under the knife in San Francisco to have a surgical fixation of the navicular in his right foot.

“I missed another nine months after having the operation in America,” said Addison, who made 65 appearances for the Rams – including one in the Premier League.

“I had a double fracture in my navicular bone but it had lost blood supply which was the problem.

“Surgeons in England didn’t want to operate. As there was no blood supply, they said that if they tried to put a screw through it, the bone would just disintegrate. The surgeon in America said there was no risk and, fortunately, everything worked out for me.”

Addison admits he owes a huge debt of gratitude to both the surgeon and Sullivan – and revealed it could have been a very different story.

The Londoner said: “After I had seen the third surgeon in England, I met with my financial adviser and he got out the career-ending documents.

“We had to go through them because I had been told by three top specialists that there was nothing they could do for me. When that happens, you need to start thinking about what you are going to do.”

Addison, who moved to Derby when he was a toddler, severed ties with the club after boss Nigel Clough had made it clear he had no future at Pride Park.

The 23-year-old signed a three-year deal with Cherries after making 14 appearances during a loan spell last season. Current boss Paul Groves, who has a house in Derby, followed Addison’s career through the youth and reserve ranks.

Groves said: “I have always been well aware of Miles and his qualities. He was talked about as someone who may follow in the footsteps of Tom Huddlestone. But he picked up an injury along the way which has changed his path.”

Addison added: “I just want to start enjoying my football again. Injuries have played a massive part in my career and I am still only 23.

“Maybe I was in the bracket of Tom Huddlestone at one point but that is all in the past and I have got to look to the future.”