It’s evident how Arteta has transformed a once-struggling Arsenal side. However, it’s time we take a closer look at their medical staff too.
While big footballing giants like Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Barcelona are seeing their list of injured players pile up, Arsenal surely seems to possess some sort of a potion that magically heals their player in no time.
Something similar happened with their defender – Jurrien Timber.
For context, Timber joined the Gunners this summer from Ajax for £38 million. However, his debut match against Nottingham Forest in August was cut short when he had to be substituted out just after half-time due to a discomfort in his right knee.
Further test reports revealed his injury to be a tear in his Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL).
After Timber underwent surgery under the Arsenal medical team in mid-August, his return date was initially anticipated to be at least six months. This would have placed his return to first-team action between March and May, just in time for the end of the 2023/24 season.
However, just as rumors surfaced that Arsenal are on the lookout for another defender this January transfer window, Timber delivered some positive news to the fans, which was a rather shocking one.
An X.com account with the username @MoArsenal86 shared news that the Dutch defender is on track to return to the pitch and is targeting an early return to training in January, aiming to join the squad for the first leg game in the Champions League round of 16 against Porto in late February 2024.
This is undoubtedly a super exciting news for the Gunner fans, but it also raises questions about how Arsenal and Timber managed to recover from such a serious injury in such a short time span.
Arteta did hint at something like this in an interview last week when he revealed that Timber is recovering ‘very fast’ from his knee injury.
A couple of weeks ago, Timber took to his Instagram to post glimpses of his preparations, which included light physical exercises and gym workouts.
On Arsenal’s matchday show against Wolves, Timber spoke to ‘The Breakdown Live’ about his return to the pitch and revealed: ”I feel like it’s going pretty quick”. But nobody really anticipated it to be at such a swift pace.
Sure, there are certainly factors that impact the recovery such as the grade of the tear, whether the meniscus was damaged as well, age, overall health, and the recovery regimen.
It’s safe to assume that Timber, as a young elite athlete with access to world-class facilities and doctors, would have a faster recovery than most. However, Timber’s injury and subsequent surgery occurred in mid-August, so returning to the match within 4 months is highly commendable.
Fans are really impressed, to say the least. They have taken to social media to applaud Timber’s dedication.
On the other hand, some people have skeptically pointed out that there must be something magical that Arsenal is using to treat their players that somehow multiplies their healing powers.
Arsenal is en route for their first Premier League title since 2003/04, and having Timber fit and firing would be a massive boost. However, Arsenal’s medical staff should take their time with the 22-year-old and not rush the defender. It’s not as if Arteta is in dire need of one.
Arsenal also has an infamous injury history where players experience decreased productivity post-ACL surgeries. Names like Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding comes to mind. Arsenal wouldn’t want to repeat this mistake with Timber.