Medical expert sends grim injury warning to Joe Gomez but praises Liverpool for action

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A medical expert has warned that it could be up to 12 months before Joe Gomez can play again after his knee injury. Liverpool’s defensive injury problems worsened further when Gomez ruptured his patellar tendon in international service and, after undergoing surgery, the center-back faces a significant period on the sidelines.

The 23-year-old is sadly set for the third long-term injury absence of his career.

After injuring an ACL on the opposite knee in 2015, Gomez was absent for 15 months with a diagnosis of Achilles tendinopathy.

He also had a four-month absence in 2018/19 due to ankle surgery.

Gomez must now undergo another grueling period of rehabilitation to regain his physical form.

Speaking to ECHO, Dr Katie Walker-Small, head of the sports rehabilitation program at the University of Cumbria, described exactly what Gomez has to go through to try to get back into the Reds’ first team.

While Dr Walker-Small praised how quickly Gomez was operated on, she also warned that in order to return to the highest level and avoid any relapse, Gomez could be sidelined. for 12 months.

“As far as recovery is concerned, it’s fantastic that they’ve been on top of getting surgery fast – that in itself is important so that you can reduce any lasting weakness in the quadriceps and speed healing,” she said. declared.

“It’s a fantastic start to begin with, then beyond, then after surgery, it’s about trying to make sure that the overall flexibility around that quadriceps and that patellar unit is recovered as soon as possible.

“This follows the initial period of immobilization he will be in, which in itself can last around six weeks, where he will likely be put in a splint with supportive crutches to use.

“Then, little by little, you just have to flex that knee a little more to regain some flexibility in the patellar tendon as it heals.

“From there, after the knee has hopefully a full range of motion back, they can hopefully be able to work on a full range of strengthening exercises.

“The last step will then be in the return-to-play criteria, so doing a lot of actions, a lot of exercises involved in football and higher level strength and conditioning work. ”

Dr Walker-Small added: “It is certainly likely that it could be a good six months in terms of recovery and return to play, although that in itself is on the more accelerating side of things.

“An injury like this could even take up to a year to return to full fitness goals, especially given the level and level of play it is clearly at and the strength requirements in terms of recovery. ”

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Explaining the severity of the injury, Dr Walker-Small revealed that a ruptured patella tendon is often caused by forceful movement.

She said, “A ruptured patellar tendon is a pretty big and serious injury.

“It’s something that usually comes from an acute traumatic event, so it’s an instantaneous moment that causes the tendon to rupture.

“There are different mechanics that can cause it – it could usually be a very powerful unit contraction involving the quadriceps, so it could be a hard kick or sprint, an explosive jump, or an after landing. a jump.

“It could even be from the foot planted in the ground, trying to push, and usually where the knee and patellar tendon mechanism just becomes intimidated by the force put on it and causes a rupture.

England manager Gareth Southgate blamed the injury on the amount of football played in what is a condensed campaign due to last season’s coronavirus delay.



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Dr Walker-Small said fatigue certainly could have played a role in Gomez’s injury, but it wasn’t the only factor that could cause ruptures.

“There are many different factors that can increase the vulnerability of individual players to injury,” she explained.

“Fatigue is one thing, so the ability to recover could be a predisposing factor for injury, but if not, there are other things.

“Players who have a history of patella injuries, or even more minor injuries like tendonitis, may be more prone to injury. ”

While some Reds fans might wish to see Gomez return to help their title defense before the end of the season, it could well mean that the former Charlton defender also faces a race against time to get in shape. for Euros this summer.

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