With stress came illness and, more often than not, regular bouts of tonsillitis. “It still happens now – if I get an injury and I get stressed, I get ill,” Hutchinson says. “But, yeah, I had my tonsils out, something went wrong, and I just hit the lowest point and said, ‘No, I’ve had enough. I’m done’.”
He pushed everyone away bar his wife, Jennifer, and, for a while, blamed Chelsea. “When you’re in the kind of state that I was, you look to blame anyone apart from yourself,” he says. “I didn’t have anyone else to blame, so I blamed Chelsea. But, honestly, they were fantastic with me.”
Eventually, he dragged himself to the Priory for treatment. “If you want to help yourself, and you know you’re in that state, it’s only you that can get out of it,” he said.
Hutchinson had been doing some commentary work for Chelsea TV and Neil Bath, an academy coach, had him mentoring some of the club’s budding youngsters. But he had given little thought to a comeback until Jon Fearn, the Chelsea physio, and team-mate Ryan Bertrand encouraged him to give things another go. Then Brian English, the fitness director, put him in contact with the Olympic sprinter, Darren Campbell.
“I didn’t even want to come back,” he says. “But, six months later, I was back in the first team and I was like, ‘What has gone on here?’ It was rest, looking after myself, sorting my head out, changing my running gait, which Darren did. I’d had so many injuries and it had just got too much for me.”
His troubles were not over, though. He joined Nottingham Forest on loan from Chelsea only to be struck down by another knee injury. A subsequent loan to Vitesse Arnhem coincided with the birth of the first of his three children – daughter Mila, now five – and was doomed to failure. Even early on at Wednesday – initially on loan before a permanent free transfer in July 2014 – there were more injuries woes, not to mention suspensions, a by-product of an uncompromising attitude hardened by all that time out.
Yet, soon enough, he would establish himself as a firm favourite among the fans, a linchpin in a team that narrowly missed out on promotion to the Premier League in successive seasons in 2016 and 2017, which is why his treatment by Luhukay baffled many, not least the player.