For any athlete who relies on speed, acceleration and a turn of pace, any muscular injury suffered may have a disheartening and depressing effect as one wonders whether they will be able to again maximise the attributes that elevated themselves to the elite in their sport in the first place.
While Arsenal attacker Theo Walcott has displayed exceptional positional nous this season, whilst also showing a prolific and consistent ability to either score or create last year, his greatest asset is, there is no question, his pace… his willingness to scare the bejesus out of opposition defences, to latch onto accurate through balls or to drag full-backs out of position.
Walcott, though, will not have to worry about losing even a half-yard of pace when he makes a recovery from his latest setback - an injury that could keep him sidelined for up to six months - because it is not a muscular complaint, but ligament damage.
Walcott will miss the entirety of the club season, inclusive of domestic, cup and European competition and will also not make the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Former Liverpool and Manchester United striker Michael Owen, who suffered a similar injury in 2006 during a World Cup tournament, knows precisely what Theo is experiencing both physically and mentally at the moment, but declares the belief the injury affects explosive speed to be untrue.
I'm not having this quote relating to Theo Walcott: pic.twitter.com/4XKhPonAMo— michael owen (@themichaelowen) January 7, 2014
A ligament the connects 2 bones does not affect speed. Muscles and tendons create speed and power, ligaments create stability.— michael owen (@themichaelowen) January 7, 2014
Some players may not return as good as they were for a variety of reasons but rupturing an ACL won't affect speed.— michael owen (@themichaelowen) January 7, 2014
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