Moroka Swallows captain details painful recovery from ACL damage

Moroka Swallows captain details painful recovery from ACL damage

Moroka Swallows captain Tlakusani Mthethwa has relived his painful experience recovering from an ACL injury that sidelined him for a year, with some doctors fearing the worst.

The midfielder helped the Dube Birds gain promotion in September 2020, but several months into that campaign he suffered the devastating blow of being operated on and then needing countless rehab sessions. 

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Now that he’s back leading Swallows under coach Steve Komphela, the 30-year-old says this was the most challenging period of his career. 

"ACL is not an easy injury. You go for [out of action] for 12 months or more – I went for two years, and the road to recovery is not easy," Mthethwa told reporters.

"Especially if you don't have people close to you who are supporting you, but I'm grateful for the club because they were there through each and every process, from the operation to booking me with a psychologist and therapist I needed for me to come back."

Even after he made his comeback, Mthethwa admits he relapsed. 

"Sometimes you feel like you are ready and, after two steps, you realise, 'No man, I need to go back to rehab.' So, it's not easy. 

"I've seen players who've went through that operation or injury and not coming back and playing, or not being consistent – maybe drop form or you're not ready for it, because sometimes this is a life-threatening injury, to be honest.

"Going away for three years and above, for some players, because there are those who are still recovering from [these types of injuries]."