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Armando Broja reflects on his ACL recovery journey, progress

Comeback stronger than the setback

Chelsea Training Session Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Chelsea’s goalscoring woes are starting to approach legendary status, which makes it doubly unfortunate that one of our brightest goalscoring prospects has been sidelined for the half the season. While Armando Broja had just a singular goal to his name in 18 appearances, 15 of those had come off the bench. In fact, his goal(s)-to-minutes ratio is still fourth best on the team, after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Raheem Sterling, and Kai Havertz.

Broja underwent ACL replacement surgery in December after getting hurt in a mid-season friendly during the World Cup, but he’s recently returned to some light training on the pitch. He’s still a ways away — standard recovery timeframes are around 6-9 months — but making good progress physically and mentally as well. Both components are crucial to a successful recovery.

“After surgery, I was bedridden for about two weeks. It was one of the worst times of my life. It was horrible. I couldn’t get out of bed. [...] I couldn’t sleep. I was in pain.

“The day and what happened played on my mind constantly. I was thinking about ways I could have avoided it, even though I knew that wasn’t a good thing to do. I had to take a step back from that. It was something I had to move past, start just focusing on getting back fit. As they say, the comeback is going to be better than the setback.’

“Ben Chilwell has helped me out massively. He has spoken to me from the moment it happened [...] he’s been through it. He knows exactly how it feels, the pressure, the mental side of things. He’s been helping me every step. He doesn’t have to, but he goes out of his way to talk to me, and help me, so a big thanks to him.

“[Now] I can see the journey from where I was, to where I am. I’m kicking a ball, moving, changing direction. You have to find the balance between how much load you put on the knee, and how much you take off it. So it’ll be a while until I can start doing sprints, jumping, that kind of stuff, but I’m really happy with how it’s going.’

“[...] I have learned a lot about myself, physically and mentally [...] When I was bedbound, I was thinking a lot. I missed the sport a lot. It reminded me how much I cherish football, how much I love it. It was a big injury, but one I can recover from. I’m giving it my best, working my hardest to get back as quick and as strong as possible, and I’m so thankful for the recovery and support I am getting from the club.”

-Armando Broja; source: Chelsea FC

Good luck with the rest of the rehab, Armando! Come back stronger!

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