He isn’t expected to make a return to action until the new year at the earliest, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain recently took a step forward in his rehabilitation as he was allowed to begin doing solo work with a football.
It may not seem like much, but after more than five months without being allowed to do even that, it’s a big deal and major boost for the player to be able to start kicking the ball around again—even if it’s just on his own.
“It’s going well,” the midfielder told the club’s official website about his recovery. “Very boring, very slow, very long, all the good stuff! But I’m making progress, which is obviously what we need.
It’s just a long process and I just keep plugging away, but I’m in good spirits and I’m really positive about it. You just get into a routine and keep going, setting yourself little goals and little things to achieve.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain pulled up in the first half of Liverpool’s first leg against Roma in the Champions League semis in April, with the initial diagnosis of his knee injury suggesting he could be back for pre-season.
Around the time he was expected back, though, it was revealed he had always known the injury was more severe and that, as a worst case scenario, he could miss the entirety of the 2018-19 season.
He had kept the reality of the situation to himself—and to Liverpool’s coaches and medcial staff—in order to keep the focus on the team as they finished out the 2017-18 season with a Champions League final appearance.
“I passed the ball the other day,” he added. “Not very well, but I started passing the ball and that was massive for me to be able to kick and know my knee can kick a ball. It’s little wins like that that keep you going.