by Nia Griffiths
Danny Welbeck recently spoke to Arsenal Player about Osgood-Schlatter disease – a condition he suffered from as a young footballer – and hailed the Arsenal fans’ support since joining.
Not many people realise that while training in Manchester United’s academy, the forward suffered from a condition known as Osgood-Schlatter disease. The condition is reasonably common in adolescents and is a result of overuse, rather than an actual disease.
“It’s not always going to be a clean sail through. Getting injured is a massive setback. When you look back at it, it makes you a better and a stronger person today but at the time it’s hard to deal with,” Welbeck said.
“I started growing late so I was a late developer. I got Osgood-Schlatter disease in my knees because my bones were growing quicker than my muscles and it’s hard to get out on the training pitch, then afterwards you’re in agony every single time you play football.”
Osgood-Schlatter disease involves inflammation of the bone so, as you can imagine, it can be extremely painful. For a young footballer with big dreams, being sidelined was tough to take.
The forward explained his mentality during this time, saying, “You’ve just got to take it as a positive and see what you can do to make yourself better. Looking back at it now it helped me develop into a man mentally as well as physically because you’ve got to rest your body and learn the game from a different perspective.”
Speaking about what else spurs him on, the 24-year-old hailed the fan support as a huge inspiration for him.
“It’s great and it gives you even more of an incentive to do well,” he said. “You want to get on to the pitch, do well for yourself, the team and the whole club in general. The fans are very special in this game and it’s great that the Arsenal fans have taken to me so well.”
Although Welbeck hasn’t had the best season in terms of injuries, I’m sure he can rise above it, just as he has in the past, and move on in a positive way. Taking positives and learning from past experiences rather than dwelling on them is a really healthy attitude to have, especially in a career that can be over as quickly as it began. Luckily, he’s also noticed the huge amount of fan support he has at Arsenal and lets this drive him forward.