A fall, a twist, a sudden dark thought: “Have I just knackered my knee?”
I’m playing football on Wednesday. Five-a-side. 10 minutes in and I’m trying to shoot when, to avoid a tackle, I jump, land awkwardly on my right leg and feel it buckle. I’m on my back, staring up at the steel roof and I can start to feel a dull ache around my knee. “Are you alright?” I’m asked.
I think so. It’s not the sharp pain that I remember from tearing a ligament a few years ago, and, after standing up, I don’t feel any reaction when I put my weight on it. “I think so,” I say, but I go into goals for 10 minutes to let it settle and see how it reacts to movement. It seems okay.
I come back out and, as soon as I try and pass the ball, my right leg buckles again. No pain. No reaction. I’m up again straight away but I play the rest of the game wondering if I’ve damaged it more than I first realised – and I wonder whether the adrenaline of playing is stopping me from feeling the pain that would tell me to stop.
I go to sleep later bracing myself for a reaction in the morning.
I wake up and try and bend my knee to see how it reacts. Nothing. Then a twinge. Then nothing. I’m lucky, but I don’t push it. I take Thursday off from training and use it as a rest day instead. Today, I’ll have a short BRIC session to test it on the bike and road. Next week, I think I’ll give football a miss.