Friday, 9 September 2011

Just been told, "You should never play contact sport again"

Yesterday I had my consultation with a knee specialist to finally get the ball rolling and start the proceedings. This has been holding me back from so much in my life, from work to the move back to Los Angeles, to working out properly in the gym. I was very optimistic about it all, but I know that I had seriously injured my knee 10 weeks ago. When reviewing the MRI scan it was clearly revealed that I had torn my cartilage on both sides of my knee, something that I didn't believe I had done. Also, and the main problem, is the damage to my ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament), which again showed up on the scan. This to anyone who doesn't know about knee problems, is a very severe injury.

After reviewing my previous problems with my other knee, that is all fine now, the specialist tells me in no uncertain terms that i shouldn't ever play contact sport again. My heart sunk completely. I have played football competitively since I was 4 years old. 23 years in the game. I had this nervous smile on my face throughout the consultation, unable to register what on earth was happening.

As pointed out by my father, I was lucky that football wasn't my career, and that I still had a lot I could do. But what people don't realise is what playing this sport actually means to me. It allows me to take out the frustrations of life on the opposition (not in a violent way) and on the ball. It is the only time where my mind is completely calm of thoughts. I have no worries about money, work, friends, family. I just concentrate on playing a game, a game that i have loved since first having a football in front of me. There is also the team side of it that people often forget. People you spend a lot of time with and they become friends of yours that you see week in week out. The banter, the jokes, the laughs all of which help me along throughout difficult times in my life. The enjoyment I have got out of playing has been incredible and when playings involved, I am always at my happiest.

Back to the operation, the next step is an operation in 2 or 3 weeks to fix my cartilage damage on both sides of my knee. The surgeon will also be able to tell me the extent of the damage to my ACL, so now I just have to wait and see about it all. The nervous times. If the ACL requires surgery, then I will need a knee reconstruction, which will lead to being on crutches for 6-8 weeks and involve a rehabilitation period of a year!!! Incredible hey?!

I have noticed recently how much negative things that I have been writing about, but unfortunately that is how I am feeling right now. Maybe it's because I want to be back in LA? Maybe it's because I am unhappy with my career? Something just quite simply is not right, and the knee problem is now adding to it. Work is very slow right now as well, so sure that is all getting on top of me. I am just hoping I can get past this recent news and not give up on a sport that has given me so many happy memories

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