Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cruel Blow at Worst Possible Time for Club, Boss and Elliot

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cruel Blow at Worst Possible Time for Club, Boss and Elliot

Article excerpt


NEWCASTLE United, Rafa Benitez and most importantly, Rob Elliot have been dealt a cruel blow at the worst possible time.

It sounds like a severe one, potentially a knee-ligament injury, and if that's the case, Elliot has a long road ahead of him and I really feel for him.

I did my cruciate knee ligament when I was at West Ham United back in 2001 and it took me nine months to come back from that.

It's a bad one; the technology involved in the surgery was very good when I had mine done, but it's moved on leaps and bounds since then too, thankfully.

For my surgery, they used my hamstring as my graft, essentially cut that muscle in half and then used it to help repair my knee.

We don't know the exact extent of Elliot's injury, but the early soundings are that he might require something similar.

It's amazing what the surgeons do - and because Elliot's still young, he should be back hopefully in far less time than I was.

Psychologically, an injury like that really impacts on a player, though.

I remember when I did my knee ligament - I felt physically sick, and even close to suicidal. The worst part of having that sort of injury is that normally the surgeon can't actually operate on it for two or three weeks because the swelling is so huge, and there's so much trauma inside your knee, that they can't touch it until all that settles down a little bit. So you're sitting there for two or three weeks without being able to train because you can't do anything; all they can do for your knee is ice it, and you're just moping around wasting time.

You know you're going into the training ground to ice your knee, but that's all.

The best time is the morning after the operation, because at least then psychologically you know you're on the mend, whereas the first couple of weeks while you're sitting waiting, you're in No Man's Land. …

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