Medical expert’s stark warning to Liverpool over Joe Gomez knee injury

Liverpool have been warned that Joe Gomez could be waiting 12 months before he is back in action.

A leading medical expert has claimed that Gomez's ruptured patella tendon, which was injured in England training last week, will be the third long-term absence of his career.

The 23-year-old injured his ACL on his opposite knee in 2015, before suffering a 15-month lay-off with tendinopathy in his Achilles tendon

Gomez also had four months out of action during Liverpool's 2018/19 season after undergoing ankle surgery.

And the fear is now that Gomez will have to face another season on the sidelines in order to return to fitness.

Dr Katie Walker-Small, programme leader for sport rehabilitation at the University of Cumbria, has spoken to the Liverpool Echo about the injury.

While she was delighted to see Gomez undergo surgery so quickly, she has warned that he may have to spend an entire year on the sidelines to ensure there are no relapses.

"In terms of the recovery, it's fantastic they've been on top of things in getting a quick surgery – that in itself is significant in being able to reduce any long-lasting weakness in the quads and accelerating the healing," she said.

"That's a fantastic start to begin with, then beyond that, then after the surgery, it's a case of looking to try and make sure the overall flexibility surrounding that quadriceps and patella unit is recovered as soon as possible.

"That follows the initial immobilisation period he'll be in, which in itself can last six weeks or so, where he'll probably be put in a brace with supportive crutches to use.

"Then, bit by bit, just getting that knee to flex a little bit more to get some flexibility back into the patella tendon as it heals.

"From there, after the knee hopefully has a full range of motion back, they'll hopefully get to work on a full range of strengthening exercises.

"The last stage will then be in return-to-play criteria, so doing many of the actions, many of the drills involved in football and higher-level strength and conditioning work."

Dr Walker-Small added: "It's certainly likely that it could well be a good six months in terms of recovery and return to play, although that in itself is on the more accelerative side of things.

"An injury like that could even take up to a year to return to full return-to-play fitness goals, especially given the level and standard of play he's obviously at and the strength requirements in terms of the recovery."

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