Kieran Tierney says dislocating his shoulder and knowing he needed an operation was probably the toughest time of his life, mentally speaking.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09: Kieran Tierney of Arsenal leaves the pitch following an injury during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Arsenal FC at London Stadium on December 09, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 09: Kieran Tierney of Arsenal leaves the pitch following an injury during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Arsenal FC at London Stadium on December 09, 2019, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Tierney spent a few months out after picking up a shoulder injury against West Ham in December, and he says realising he would need surgery was one of the toughest moments for him.

“Mentally, it was probably the toughest time of my life,” Tierney said. “In my head, I was thinking, ‘I need an operation now’. I knew.”

“Three times in ten minutes, nobody’s shoulder should be going like that. So in my head, as I was lying down I was thinking, ‘That’s me out for another few months’.”

This is just another example that shows the kinds of pressures professional footballers are under. Most of us would feel hurt and disappointed at a shoulder injury and the resulting recovery programme. But not to the same extent.

When you’re carrying the expectations of millions of fans on your shoulders (so to speak), it’s obviously going to hit you harder learning you’re facing a spell out of action.

It’s a big shame for Tierney that football stopped right as he was ready to return to the pitch. At least, the pressure is off for a little while though, and he can focus on his fitness.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.