This article is part of Football FanCast’s Injury News series, which considers the impact of the latest updates on players’ fitness
Callum Hudson-Odoi has been pencilled in to play for Chelsea’s U23 side against Brighton and Hove Albion on Friday, according to The Metro.
What’s the story?
The 18-year-old winger had just started to become an important member of the Blues squad last season when he ruptured his Achilles tendon in April. He has not played a minute of football since.
The good news for the south-west London outfit, though, is that he is entering the final stages of his recovery and it is being reported that he could play in the development side’s match this Friday.
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A potentially damaging injury for a youngster
This update will no doubt come as a major boost to Chelsea supporters. Hudson-Odoi has a huge future ahead of him, as his performances towards the end of last season showed.
As part of Frank Lampard’s youth-orientated side, which has already seen the likes of Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount feature heavily, he could go from strength to strength.
However, recovering from such a big injury is no easy process, especially considering that the England international is said to be ahead of schedule. There have been many players who have shown signs of promise but have struggled to hit those heights following prolonged periods of time on the sidelines early on in their careers.
Manchester City’s Michael Johnson is an example often cited. The 31-year-old was a promising youngster with the Citizens and first featured for the first-team as a teenager. Unfortunately, he suffered from injuries and was forced to undergo a double hernia operation in 2007. He never truly recovered, making just a handful more appearances in his career.
While Jack Wilshere has played regularly in the Premier League during his time as a professional footballer, he has not become “the future of English football” as former Barcelona legend Xavi once tipped him to be. That is mainly due to persistent ankle injuries which can be traced back to an issue in 2009. The surgery in 2011 clearly didn’t do its job, and he has struggled to play regularly ever since.
Aaron Ramsey has enjoyed a successful career, but it wasn’t always like that. As a promising youngster, he suffered a horrific tackle at the hands of Ryan Shawcross and missed eight months of football. Whilst he eventually recovered, it was a long journey persistently dogged by niggles as he struggled to find consistent form.
These stories from the professional game should serve as a warning to players just like Hudson-Odoi.
One can only hope that this Achilles issue has no lasting effects and he is able to fulfil that burgeoning potential.
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