(October – November 2022)
It was our third match of the season. It happened in a duel with one of the defenders. I can’t really explain the movement. All I remember is a really loud snap and me going down, screaming. I was in a lot of pain and immediately knew that it was something serious. The MRI on the following day only confirmed what I had already feared: I had torn my ACL. It was hard for me to accept it. I couldn’t imagine to stop playing football for 9-12 months or even longer. My team supported me in a lovely way, which made everything a little bit easier though.
Then there were hundreds of questions: When is the best time for surgery? Which tendon should be used? I went to two different doctors who had two different answers. I read some scientific papers about ACL reconstruction to get a better picture. This combined with the trust in one doctor I went for surgery using the quadriceps tendon. I knew that rehabilitation would be harder with this specific reconstruction, but I said to myself that there’s no way I’m not going to manage it.
Pre-surgery. I worked on knee extension and flexion and did strength training to make the muscles around my knee strong again. What I learned: The better one goes into surgery the better the outcome. I worked out a lot and tried to be with my team as often as possible.
Nevertheless, it took a few weeks for me to realise the extent of my injury. In football there are often minor setbacks from time to time. I had finally joined my favourite club and this new chapter was just beginning. The fact that I tore my acl at this point in time was extremely difficult for me emotionally. It wasn’t easy to accept that the season was already over for me. During that time, I learned to set new goals and to focus on them. Every injury is also an opportunity. You have to try to stay positive and at the same time don’t lose touch with the team.
As the surgery came closer, I really felt ready. However, it was probably a mistake to compare my knee injury in any way to my hip injury from a few years ago. I thought that if had already had an operation before, I’ve done it once with my hip surgery, so I’d do fine with my knee this time too. Back then the first weeks after surgery had been more or less easy for me. I thought it would be similar. And it turned out that rehab was going to be a lot harder. I learned: no rehabilitation is comparable, and no surgery is comparable. Just focus on the here and now.