Premier League – Famous comebacks from injury
Eduardo da Silva’s triumphant return to action following a year out through injury has left the Arsenal striker with high hopes of regaining his best form.
But the Croat is not the only one to have made a successful recovery from a terrible injury.
Here we take a look at several other top players who have managed to continue playing at the highest level despite career-threatening knocks – before we highlight a few who were not so lucky in the link under the photo.
Bobby Charlton – Whilst the physical injuries sustained by Charlton were not as severe as some others who survived the horror of the 1958 Munich air disaster, the England legend was nevertheless hospitalised for a week with cuts to his head and severe shock. He recovered, outwardly at least, and went on to become European player of the year, win the World Cup and write his name into folklore at Manchester United. Surely one of the greatest recovery stories of all time.
Patrick Battiston (pictured) – After suffering the mother of all on-field injuries – he slipped into a coma after a sickening collision with Germany goalkeeper Harald Schumacher at the 1982 World Cup left him unconscious, with damaged vertebrae and minus several teeth – the France defender made a miraculous comeback to win four French league titles and two Coupes de France. The recovery was even more impressive considering Michel Platini thought his team-mate was dead at the time of the injury.
Henrik Larsson – The haunting image of Larsson’s leg snapping in two places during Celtic’s UEFA Cup tie against Lyon in the 1999-2000 season will stay with those who witnessed it for years to come, but the Swede defied the odds and managed to come back from the injury better than ever. Following his return on the final day of the same season, Larsson went on to lead Celtic to a domestic Treble the season after, winning European football’s Golden Boot on his way to eventually becoming Celtic’s record goalscorer with 242 goals.
Jimmy Bullard – Cruciate ligament injuries may not be what they once were given the advances in recent medical technology but nevertheless the knock suffered by the then-Fulham player against Newcastle back in 2006 was bad enough to raise doubts over his future. But the tenacious midfielder not only came back, he came back better, becoming his team’s most influential player and winning an England call-up two years later. His current status? Most likely out for the season with another knee injury.
Petr Cech – Public concern for the Chelsea keeper’s health after a collision with Reading’s Stephen Hunt in 2006 left him with a fractured skull was unprecedented. Would he survive? Would he walk again, let alone play again? The giant Czech answered those questions in emphatic style by returning to action after three months out and going on to keep eight successive league clean sheets later on that season. He still wears his protective head guard.