Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has not been seeing much game time for Arsenal this season with many fans wondering why.
Clearly delivering an impact at the top end of the pitch, he can be accused of falling asleep when it comes to his defensive duties, but it seems that this might not be the reason he hasn’t been getting many starts – it’s because he’s been in constant pain.
Picking up a knee injury against Aston Villa on the opening day of the 13/14 season, the Ox states that he has been in pain ever since which is highly alarming to say the least.
“It’s all been a chain reaction from that injury against Villa, just being out for five or six months for the first time in your life,” Alex said while on international duty.
“I’ve never been out, not playing and not running around for that long — [with] your knee in a brace, your balance can shift, start loading more one side than the other, and that’s when the muscle problems keep creeping in.
“Until then, I would come to training half an hour before we started, sit on my phone, have a laugh with the lads, throw my boots on and smash balls around!
“After I did my knee, I would get in an hour early [and] do a full hour preparation to go and train. That was something new. Then it ended up in my groins from the compensation.
“I struggled with that for a large part of last season. There were times when I tried to get up from the bed, or from sitting on the sofa and I was in so much pain.
“But then I would [be able to] play 90 minutes, and I couldn’t get round it in my head that I was struggling with the simplest of tasks but was still playing games.
“It wasn’t making it any worse, but it wasn’t improving until I decided to address it. That’s when it began to change — until I had the setback at the end of last season.
“These things going on isn’t nice. It’s something I’ve not had going on for a while, since my knee injury, and you feel you can’t focus on playing football and playing on the pitch.
“That injury did change my body slightly. It changed the way my muscles and body reacted to playing as many games as we play.
“It’s been a while since I felt like that. I don’t want to speak too soon but at the moment I feel good, which is the main thing.”
Thankfully, after changing his training routine totally, he’s now starting to feel better and although he mentioned recently that he didn’t feel totally fit, he’s certainly heading that way and finally moving past his injury problems.
The Ox is in line to start for England as they take on San Marino followed by their game against Switzerland in the Euro 2016 qualifiers. He will be looking to prove, not only that he has moved past all the injury problems of the past two seasons, but that he is ready to begin starting for Arsenal once again.