It’s not a mystery that players might, from time to time, enter the rehab suite at the ‘posh’ new training ground at Enfield; it’s just that they never seem to reappear.
Erik Lamela was injured on 24 October, 2016 and has missed 56 games. We’ve heard little from or about him since he went back to his old club because they understood his hips better than we did. This prompted all sorts of rumours about a sale that never materialised. Since then he has been a few weeks away from playing on numerous occasions. The next date set is the 5 November. Anyone holding their breath?
Danny Rose was injured on 30 January this year and has missed 34 games. At the time of his injury we were treated to various threads of speculation about just how many games he would play before the end of the season. He didn’t appear, nor did he at the start of this season or even a few games in. There’s little talk these days of his being shortly in contention for a place. The date given now is 22 October.
Victor Wanyama is given as injured since his last game (21 August) but we know his injury really dates from last season. He returned prematurely for one game, played terribly and disappeared for … well … some time, apparently till 12 October, by which time he will have missed a dozen or so games even since the ‘come back’.
The greatest mystery of all has to be Mousa Dembele who has also been injured … for at least a year? But plays on and is even suffering in the same way despite an operation over the summer. The only time we’ve ever seen the magnificent Poch even partway rattled in the press was when he insisted he hadn’t picked Dembele for fitness reasons – and that it was a private medical matter! The date of his return is off and on, sometime, but, in his pomp, sometime never?
This is pretty the much the sum total of our injuries. Compare that to a few years back when you could name a pretty good team out of the crocks and we were all speculating as to too much or too little training / pies / pints. At least they were out for three weeks (or whatever it was) and then returned, like clockwork.
And (and this is where any medical authority I might have been implying, goes right out of the window) these four all ‘look’ fit. In fact, you would be hard pressed to name a group more physically intimidating than these.
Dembele is frequently referred to as the most powerful player in the division (admittedly, it’s usually ‘upper body’ strength they refer to). Wanyama is a monster and no one would happily anticipate one of his crunching tackles – he has the broadest shoulders I’ve ever seen. Rose was a teenaged winger who went away one summer and came back built like one of his Leeds brick shit houses. Recent pictures of Lamela in training show a great physical specimen (and he was no slouch when it came to tackling back at speed).
The Poch regime is certainly producing overall highly satisfactory levels of both fitness and keeping fit. Have we just been unlucky that the ‘mechanical parts’ of these powerful players have seemingly given way in such complex and inexplicable ways?
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