The head of Walsall’s medical department has told the media he is ‘devastated’ for Krystian Bielik whose latest injury sees the defender return to Arsenal when he was finally on the verge of making an appearance for the League One side.
Speaking to the Walsall website, manager Dean Keates confirmed that the centreback had suffered another setback. “Krystian has had a flare up of the previous injury he came up with,” said Keates.
“We had him back up last week and were told he was ready to come back in. He trained twice last week and then he trained in the early part of this week.
“He’s had a bit of a problem again with his hamstring so he’s gone back down to Arsenal. They’ll assess him and we’ll see what happens from there.”
Marc Czuczman, head of medical at the club, added, “Krystian joined us last Monday after doing some rehab with Arsenal.
“Last week was the first time we had him in – he came through a full rehab programme at Arsenal including pitch rehab as well as his strength work in the gym.
“They were happy for him to return and when he came up and we looked at him, he was looking in really good shape.
“He trained really well with the squad and we didn’t overload him too much – we let him train on the Monday and the Tuesday with the First Team. He had a gym day on the Wednesday and relaxed on Thursday before joining with the group again on the Friday.
“He was doing a bit of defensive work and got himself in a bit of an awkward position and just overstressed the hamstring.
“Looking at the movement, you wouldn’t expect it to be anything too significant but the injury he was dealing was before was the tendon, as opposed to the muscle itself.
“Tendons take a lot longer to heal and although sometimes you can look and feel fantastic, be as strong as you like, it can be completely innocuous.
“You could watch him move, see him in the gym or on the pitch, running in straight lines, and nothing would be obvious to the eye before, during or after training.
“It’s just one of those things where you can do all the tests and markers – and Arsenal have done that and the rehab they provide is exceptional as you can imagine – but it’s just unfortunate.
“Arsenal looked at him on Wednesday for us and they agreed that it is just a slight flare-up of the tendon, but the muscle fibres themselves are okay. The tendon though will take a little bit of time to heal.
“I’m actually devastated for Krystian because he was training really well. He’s had an unfortunate year with his shoulder earlier in the year – he’s just desperate to play football.”
Speaking just this week, Bielik revealed how bad this injury-plagued season had been for him.
The Pole signed a loan deal with Walsall in January but has yet to make a single appearance for them, suffering a knee problem on the back of a hamstring issue that he arrived at the club with.
Working back at Arsenal with a physio, Bielik finally joined up with Walsall for full training in last week and was eager to get out on the pitch to play.
“I’m feeling good, I’m feeling better but the last few months have not been good for me,” Bielik told the Express & Star.
“During the winter transfer window I was injured. Then when I recovered from that I picked up a knee problem when I was training.
“Still now I’m not sure what happened. It was really painful. I had two injections in my knee. But now, step-by-step I am getting better.
“Someone told me the Championship and League One are similar physically so I’m ready for this.
“I’m up for this fight.
“I’m so excited to get out there, show my quality and do my best for Walsall.
“This season has not been good for me. I’ve only played four games. But we have got eight games left now and I will do everything I can to play all eight so I can help Walsall stay in League One.”
Under contract with Arsenal until 2020, big things are expected of the u19 Poland centreback who impressed many with his loan spell at Birmingham last season.
Bielik signed for Arsenal from Legia Warsaw in the winter of 2015 for just over £2m.
Due to a shoulder problem, he has managed just four Premier League 2 appearances this season, a total of 357 minutes. Two of those came in August with the remaining two in December.
It is now suspected that he will not make an appearance for Walsall before the end of the season.