Callum Hudson-Odoi & Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Two of Chelsea’s brightest prospects Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek both recently suffered very serious injuries - a ruptured achilles. Possibly the worst injury for an athlete to have. Let me explain why these injuries are so significant and potentially catastrophic.
First of all let me explain what a ruptured achilles is. The Achilles tendon is the cord which connects your heel bone to the muscles in the back of your calf. A rupture in the achilles essentially means that the two are now disconnected.
The cause of achilles ruptures is a sudden increase in stress applied to the achilles tendon. However, the injury is usually seen in people between the ages of 30-40. Hence why it’s so concerning that the two have had this injury at such a young age. The fact that two young players suffered these injuries in quick succession means questions must be asked of the Chelsea medical team. These injuries don’t occur suddenly, there’s usually an underlying factor such as the calf muscle being under-strength.
Now here is where it gets especially bad for Chelsea fans. In terms of recovery, it is usually thought that the recovery time is 6 months post-surgery. However, for professional athletes it’s much higher. As seen through Andriy Yarmolenko’s achilles injury. Yarmolenko suffered an achilles injury in October of last year and is still out of the game, even after undergoing a successful surgery. Therefore any chance of either playing until very late in the year at best are highly unlikely.
Rehabilitation for the injury is considered by physiotherapists as the most challenging of any injury, even more so than the Anterior Cruciate Ligament rupture. Now for the worst part, even if the players do make a successful recovery. Among professional athletes, only 60-80% of athletes return to the same level they were performing at prior to injury.
Overall, it’s a tough road ahead for both players. As everyone else, I’m hoping they make a full recovery and return to their best.