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Foot infection nearly TKO’d Hilary Swank

Actress kept injury secret from director Clint Eastwood
/ Source: The Associated Press

While training for the boxing drama “Million Dollar Baby,” Hilary Swank was nearly TKO’d — by a foot infection.

Swank, nominated for a best-actress Oscar for her performance in the Clint Eastwood-directed film, says a blister on her foot nearly led to her downfall.

After popping the blister, Swank continued her rigorous workouts. But soon she was in intense pain and knew something was wrong.

“I couldn’t believe the pain,” the 30-year-old actress says in an interview to air Sunday on CBS’ “60 Minutes” newsmagazine. “It was unbelievable and I looked down, there were streaks going to my foot.

“So, I went to the doctor’s that second and he looked at me and he said, ‘This is really serious. And if you would have waited two more hours, you would have been in the hospital for three weeks — and if it gets to your heart, that’s it.”’

Swank says she was diagnosed with a bacterial infection but never told Eastwood, also her co-star in the movie, because it wouldn’t have been in character.

Instead, she took several days of medicated rest and then returned to the ring.

“I didn’t tell Clint,” she says. “The producers don’t know ... because in the end, that’s what happens to boxers: They get blisters, they get infected. They have injuries, and they keep pushing through it.”

Swank won an Oscar in 2000 for “Boys Don’t Cry.”