Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has revealed that he has been playing in pain for the past two years after battling injury problems.
As relayed by the Daily Mirror, the Arsenal star made it known that the knee ligament injury he picked up against Aston Villa on the opening day of the 2013/14 Premier League campaign had sparked a ‘chain-reaction’ of problems, ones that haven’t subsided over the last two seasons.
The Ox admission
Initially the injury sustained against Villa kept him out for five months, but since then he’s been on and off the field with a catalogue of problems.
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The 22-year-old has started this season well for Arsenal, and confirmed recently that it was the first time he’s been fully fit for around two years.
“It’s all been a chain reaction from that injury against Villa, just being out for five or six months for the first time in your life," Oxlade-Chamberlain said.
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"I’ve never been out, not playing and not running around for that long — [with] your knee in a brace, your balance can shift, start loading more one side than the other, and that’s when the muscle problems keep creeping in.
“Until then, I would come to training half an hour before we started, sit on my phone, have a laugh with the lads, throw my boots on and smash balls around!
“After I did my knee, I would get in an hour early [and] do a full hour preparation to go and train. That was something new. Then it ended up in my groins from the compensation.
An unplayable midfielder on his day, Gunners fans can take some comfort imagining the potential Oxlade-Chamberlain has to be a key component of Arsene Wenger’s side now that his problems are seemingly behind him.
The England international might well become a driving force alongside the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Santi Cazorla, and at 22-years-of-age he’s got plenty of time to work on becoming the perfect midfielder.
That said there will always be a shadow of doubt lurking in the background now with regards to his ability to keep fully fit.
Arsenal have developed a reputation of late for being a team plagued with injury woes; Oxlade-Chamberlain will be desperate to ensure he doesn’t become another statistic.
Arsenal fans, how good can the Ox be if he remains fully fit over the course of the season? Let us know in the comment box below.