A break in the league competition does not mean Ljudski vrt is an oasis of peace. While his teammates are training on the pitch or in the gym, Marko Šuler is a regular guest of the club’s physios, with who he is working hard to overcome his injury. After helping the team in the successful summer period, he wants to do more of the same in the autumn as well.
“On the one hand, you want to have a busy schedule and play lots of games, but that’s also very demanding. There’s been so much going on lately and the injuries are a result of that. That’s just the way things work in a high-risk sport such as football. We knew I was risking a lot before running onto the pitch in our first game of the season against Zrinjski. Bad stuff can always happen. You just have to face the consequences and make sure the unpleasant scenarios don’t repeat. Because if these things happen more than once, you’re in big trouble,” said Marko Šuler while counting down the days until his return to full fitness.
So what was it that really happened during the match in Nova Gorica and what’s the current situation? “I sustained a rare injury in the area just above the ankle. In similar cases, it’s usually the knee that gets injured. And we’re talking about a serious injury of the cruciate ligaments. But while my knee held on, I injured the ankle ligaments, which connect the fibula and the tibia, and which take a few weeks to heal and regrow. I’m waiting for the green light to start training outside the gym, which has become my second home by now. I’ve been working on retaining my physical strength. I’ve basically been doing anything that doesn’t involve putting weight on the ankle. But, of course, no type of training can replace playing actual matches. So that’s why I’m keeping my fingers crossed to be able to train outside on the pitch next week.”
Now, he’s racing against the clock to get ready in time to face Rudar and Liverpool. Is that doable or is the risk simply too high?
“They said I’ll be out for three to four weeks. And the match against Rudar will take place exactly four weeks after the injury. The progress is visible and I’m optimistic. There is a degree of risk involved, but not as high as against Zrinjski. Back then, we knew there could be trouble, but we risked it intentionally, because the game was simply too important to miss. I believe everything will work out in the end. However, we’ll have to wait and see how my body reacts once I start training with the ball. I hope I’ll be ready to face Rudar or at least Liverpool. The hardest thing is to watch the games from the sidelines. Because I can’t play, I’m doing my best to help the team in other ways. And, in the meanwhile, I’m spending most of my days at the stadium in order to get back as soon as possible. You just have to deal with it. Even if someone’s missing, you have to push on. We’ve proved many times that we are capable of that.”