TSF: Nothing Worse Than Being Injured

All footballers suffer injuries, but there is nothing worse than missing games through a strained hamstring or torn groin, especially if the injury was self-inflicted...

Last Updated: 06/12/12 at 22:31 Post Comment

Latest Articles

A New Deal? Yaya Needs To Earn His Place First...

Post comment

His performance against Bayern Munich was his worst of a season that has not quite started for Yaya Toure, who looks disinterested after a summer of unrest...

I've Given It Some Thought: He's Got To Go

Post comment

There is some more considered reaction to Arsenal and Liverpool's results, plus a big get well soon message for Jonas Gutierrez. And an apology to Merse...

All Articles

I was watching Match Of The Day with a friend last week when Gareth Bale went racing through on goal, unleashed a decent looking left-footed shot and subsequently pulled up in pain, holding the back of his leg. "What does a hamstring injury feel like?" my friend asked. "Depends how bad you do it," I replied. "But if it's a grade-three tear, then it feels pretty much as if a sniper has taken aim at the back of your leg from point-blank range."

I've pulled my hamstring a few times, with varying degrees of severity, and the first thing that instinctively comes into my head is a self-diagnosis of roughly how long I'll be out for, even as I'm hobbling to the side of the pitch. After years of playing football, you get to know your own body.

Missing games through injury is one of the worst feelings that a footballer can experience. For the first few days, there isn't much that he can do as the injury "calms down" and becomes treatable. With hamstrings, the tear immediately fills with blood and renders diagnosis through an MRI scan all but pointless.

But there are tell-tale signs that allow a player to determine how bad his injury really is. When a hamstring injury is at its worst, those players who take their shoes off by treading down on the heel with their other foot will immediately feel that sharp stabbing pain in the back of their leg.

Hamstring injuries for a footballer are an occupational hazard, a bit like suffering from a hernia. It will definitely happen, it's just a question of when. With that in mind, it's important not to get too downhearted, preventable though the injury is.

For me, the worst injuries are those that are self-inflicted through either showing off or messing around. Years ago, a group of us went to a popular nightspot in Manchester for no particular reason and, in all fairness, probably had too much of a good thing in too short an amount of time.

As the lights went up and the music went down, we made our way to the top of the stairs and began a shaky decent. Suddenly, from behind us, there came a huge bang, a couple of screams and a fair amount of swearing. I turned around just in time to see a team-mate rolling down the stairs like a bowling ball, just before being expertly skittled myself.

That was my first serious injury - a torn groin that kept me out for about six weeks - while my team-mate got away with severe bruising to the ego. Thankfully, as the years have gone by, I have learnt to avoid these pitfalls and not put myself in danger of risking unnecessary injury.

It's a lesson we can all learn from. Wherever possible, always take the lift.

Read the rest of TSF's thoughts only on www.thesecretfootballer.com.

You can follow The Secret Footballer on Twitter here, or buy his book here, which we reviewed here

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

riting a minute by minute account on Berbatov would be like chronicling the days of the guy punished for sloth in the movie Se7en. Day 4 - lay in bed, did nothing - 15th minute, stood there did nothing .

lustral
Taking A Close Look At Mario...

W

hen players in their 30s leave Real Madrid, it's usually to Bolton Wanderers. I miss those days.

sailingmagpie
Top Ten CL Players Whetting Our Appetite

W

ow Pete, you would make an excellent stalker!

fouloleron
Taking A Close Look At Mario...

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Champions League review: Big wins for Roma and Porto, Barca edge to victory

Roma and Porto earned big wins in the Champions League, while Barcelona opened their campaign with a narrow victory.

Champions League: Jose Mourinho rues missed chances in Schalke draw

Jose Mourinho bemoaned Chelsea's failure to kill off Schalke with a second goal before Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's equaliser.

Champions League: Man City goalkeeper Joe Hart left to rue late Bayern Munich winner

Man City goalkeeper Joe Hart admitted Jerome Boateng's late winner for Bayern Munich felt like a kick in the teeth.

Mail Box

I've Given It Some Thought: He's Got To Go

There is some more considered reaction to Arsenal and Liverpool's results, plus a big get well soon message for Jonas Gutierrez. And an apology to Merse...

B**locks To That, I'm Going To Sit In The Shed

Arsenal supporters given their understandable reaction to the debacle in Dortmund, whilst Liverpool fans weren't too impressed either. Still, at least they won...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property