It’s been 19 months since Callum Hudson-Odoi tore his Achilles tendon and 14 months since he made his return, but his body is still not completely recovered. That’s the thing with massive injuries like ligaments (e.g. ACL) or tendons (e.g. Achilles), they can take time well beyond the official prognosis to fully heal in every respect.
The initial physical recovery is just the first step in what is still a very long process, both physical and mental — as any one of us who have gone through similar injuries and recoveries can attest to (my own’s going on 16 months as we speak). And that’s true even for young players like Hudson-Odoi, who reflected on his progress after leading England U21 to a 3-1 win over Andorra yesterday.
“I still feel to myself that I’m still improving, obviously still trying to get more strength in the calf, which I lost a lot of muscle from, but I feel like I’m getting back to my best. Hopefully, sooner or later, I’ll be back to normal as I was before, but I just want to keep improving, keep working hard daily and keep getting better day-by-day.”
-Callum Hudson-Odoi; source: BT Sport via Goal
It’s certainly somewhat we should keep in mind when evaluating the 20-year-old winger. He may have made 44 appearances since his return, but only 19 of those have been starts. He’s still recovering, and still developing. And surrounded by top talent as he is at Chelsea, he will surely still hit the heights predicted for him.