Football - Leg Breaking, Rib Cracking, Gum Splitting Fun

Today was one of them defining moments in a football players career. This morning, looking forward to my lunchtime game, I had to search to the back of the medicine cabinet to find ibuprofen, the magic painkiller tablet. Actually anything would have sufficed but ibuprofen was the painkiller of choice at all my old football clubs, so habits die-hard.

I needed it because my back/ribs and my body were generally hurting from a little game I had during the week. But a Sunday game was too much too resist, so out came the painkillers. 2 x 200mg did the trick.

Oh for the days when my enthusiasm and a bit of arm twisting by the coach meant I would play with a broken foot, cracked ribs, and half my lip hanging off!

West Bromwich Albion was the scene of my three heroic injury ravaged games. The first was when Paul Mardon tackled me in a training session on a Monday. All week I received treatment for the excruciating pain in my foot. No chance of playing on Saturday, I thought to myself. Friday, the boss asked me to do a fitness test. Our physiotherapist watched me hobble around the field 3 times.

“How is it”? He asked me.

“Very painful”, I told him.

“You will be ok though for tomorrow”

I looked at him in disbelief. “You’re kidding”, I said

But he wasn’t. The next day I sat in the spacious home dressing room at West Bromwich Albion, wondering how on earth I could play a professional game of Football with a limp. The physio called me into his treatment room and out came the doctor and a needle. They pumped something into the side of my bony foot and a few minutes later I could have run the marathon. The injection got me through 25 minutes of the first half before the pain started to creep back into my foot. By the end of the first half I could hardly walk straight. Half time arrived and I thought I would finally get my relief. Not so, as I was given a second injection. This was getting a bit crazy, as there was definitely something wrong with my foot. I played for a short time in the second half before having to come off. The club sent me to the Hospital for x-rays, which revealed a broken metatarsal.

What is a Broken Metatarsal?

The next injury was playing with a cracked rib. Ugo Ehiogu had elbowed me in a pre-season game against Aston Villa, and cracked my rib. Apart from being extremely painful it is possible to play with this injury. The consensus of opinion at the time was that as long as you can handle the pain, then you could play. A few hefty doses (2 x 600mg) of ibuprofen and I was able to continue playing.

The last of my injury woes was splitting my bottom lip open v Halifax, away at their stadium, live on T/V, with West Bromwich Albion succumbing to the unfortunate 1st round cup exit syndrome that afflicts all Professional Teams.

I met a cross at the near post and scored. In doing so, the defender had headed my bottom jaw and knocked my top teeth into the flesh of the inside of my mouth and bottom lip. There was blood everywhere, and no chance to be substituted as we had used all of our players. We were losing so the only choice was to carry on. I held some gauze over the chunk of flesh that was hanging out of my lip and played on. The final whistle confirmed our cup exit and I was sent to the physiotherapist room to have my mouth stitched up. I always felt bad when I lost a game, but this was a shock cup exit (us being the Golliath) and a smashed up mouth. The weekend was not a good one....

Which brings me to this very funny video I found on You Tube.

Football Injury Training

Football Injury Treatment

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