Calum Chambers wasn’t given much of a chance to get comfortable after his return from injury last month, as he recalls a physical contest from the off.

Calum Chambers ahead of a game (Photo via Arsenal Academy on Twitter)
Calum Chambers ahead of a game (Photo via Arsenal Academy on Twitter)

After a long spell in the treatment room after his ACL injury, Calum Chambers made his return to the pitch against Gillingham with the Arsenal u21s in November.

Though he was playing with the Arsenal youth teams, he was up against senior opposition, and if he expected Gillingham to take it easy on him, he had another thing coming.

“I got completely flattened after about 30 seconds,” Chambers recalled. “The ball was in the air, I went up for the header and got completely sandwiched by two players and flattened.

“That was a bit of a moment when I was laying on the floor, looking up at the sky and I thought ‘right, here we go. We’re back in it now.'”

It’s not easy to come back from such a long-term injury, particularly with the comparatively high risk of reinjury in ACL sufferers. Chambers says he just had to put those kinds of thoughts out of his mind.

“In those first few games, it’s hard not to think about getting injured again, but it’s really important to try not to think about that,” the defender added. “The quicker you can get out of that, the more normal you feel.”

The good news is that Chambers hasn’t had any real problems so far. He’s made six appearances with the academy and the first team, most recently playing another 90 minutes against Leicester City on Friday. He’s certainly on the right track.