Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looks set for a huge season, but the 22-year-old claims he has been playing through pain for over two years, as reported by the Evening Standard.
He endured a challenge which put him out of action for months back in 2013, and insists the knock-on effects have been huge. He has been plagued by injuries ever since, and believes the majority of those have stemmed from the original tackle.
“It was a knock-on effect from the cruciate injury that I had from the first day of the season a couple of years ago when we lost to [Aston] Villa,” he said.
“It’s all been a chain reaction from that, just being out for five or six months for the first time in your life. I’d never been out, not playing or running around, for that long with my knee in a brace.
“Your balance can shift when that happens and you start loading more on one side than the other, that’s when the muscle problems creep in.
“It ended up in my groin from the compensation and I struggled with that for a large part of last season. I didn’t know what was wrong but just felt the pain in my groin. Nothing was showing on the scans and it was just the strength from the groin and abdominal region. It was a massive strain.
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“The fact is the injury changed my body slightly, and the way my muscles and body react to playing as many games as we do. But, so far this season, I’ve felt good. It’s been a while since I felt pain-free like that. It’s a big burden off me that I can play with that freedom and I’m not playing in pain.”
We have seen a number of Arsenal stars fall victim to career threatening – and in some case ending – injuries, with the likes of Abou Diaby and Jack Wilshere prime examples. It would be a huge blow were the Ox to suffer the same fate, as he boasts almost unlimited potential.
The England international has all the attributes required to be a world beater, and it is getting to the point where he needs to start realising his potential.
It’s fantastic to hear that he is over his issues, and hopefully he remains pain free for the foreseeable future. He finally looks capable of adding goals to his game – something that has been missing in the past – and could make the step up this season.
Arsenal transfer news
Having scored the only goal in the Community Shield victory over Chelsea, and then taking the shot that resulted in the match winning own goal against Newcastle, things are looking bright for the Southampton academy product.