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Tyne Talk

Steven Taylor – Down But Not Out

12 years ago

A ruptured Achilles is one of the worst injuries a footballer can get but in Steven Taylor we have a player with the character and determination to recover from this massive setback.

Steven has signed up with BBC Sport to give updates on his recovery and their website will be giving progress reports on his long journey back to fitness.

“When it happened I didn’t realise that I was injured. I immediately thought I had been kicked hard in the back of the leg. I felt a sharp pain and I turned around expecting to see the blue shirt of a Chelsea player. But there was no-one there.

I couldn’t understand it. I thought it was my calf muscle and I bent down to feel it.

Then I noticed that my foot wasn’t right. It was floppy but there was no pain. I tried to walk but my foot just wouldn’t work.

I checked my boot to see if any of the studs had come out but they were all there. All the time my foot was flopping inside my boot, independent from my ankle and out of my control.

I hobbled off to the dressing room and Newcastle’s physio, Derek Wright, took a look at me. I asked him what was wrong.

When he said, “It’s not too good Steven”, my heart sank. I’ve known Derek for years and he doesn’t sugar-coat bad news. He told me I needed surgery as I had likely ruptured my Achilles tendon.

I have to inject myself in the stomach each morning with penicillin and take tablets to stop potential blood clots. Having to do this just brings home how serious this is. As I hold the needle in my hand it all feels very surreal. I should be on the training pitch getting ready to face Norwich City this weekend and instead I am having to make sure my injury doesn’t get worse.

But this is what I have to do to get fit again.

But I keep thinking of that game against Norwich. It kills me a little bit to think that, instead of running out at Carrow Road on Saturday wearing the black and white shirt, I’ll be on my parents’ sofa listening to the action on the radio.

Players like David Beckham and Yakubu at Blackburn have had Achilles tendon injuries. I draw inspiration from the fact that they’re back and playing at the top level again.

So I know this is what I have to do and there’s no easy route to take. The fight starts here”.

Read the full interview online here


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