Selected for the World Cup, Karim Benzema has been chaining packages since the beginning of September, bothered by thigh problems. So should we be worried about it?
The festivities of last October 17 at the Théâtre du Châtelet are definitely in the back, the trying routine of the life of a professional footballer has resumed for Karim Benzema. That of a 34-year-old player, soon to be 35, reinforced by a lifestyle that has become irreproachable over the years, but who increasingly has to deal with sores here and there. Since the start of the 2022-2023 financial year, the recent winner of the Ballon d’Or has missed eight games with Real Madrid and the last gathering of the Blues, hampered by two thighs which do not leave him alone. Phlegmatic and cautious at heart, Carlo Ancelotti has so far preferred to ensure, never pushed his striker to come back too soon, and spared him when he could afford it. Didier Deschamps, he therefore chose, this Wednesday evening, to take the Madrid player in his luggage to Qatar, after having nevertheless announced on several occasions that he would not take any risks with injured players. “I spoke with Karim, the medical staff spoke, and there is no concern about his situation and the deadlines that are ours. He had two small physical problems to manage and, compared to what the World Cup represents, he is vigilant. Very watchful” , assured the coach at a press conference, after the announcement of the list. That being the case, the World Cup is coming to an end, and the specter of seeing Benzema start the competition without being at 100% of his abilities is a scenario that exists.
Let’s rewind: on September 6, against Celtic in the Champions League, KB9 injured himself, and left the field limping, touching his right knee. Verdict unveiled the next day by Real: the Frenchman suffered from a semi-tendinous muscle injury and an overload in the quadriceps of the right thigh. This will subsequently cause him to miss two weeks of competition. “In general, the thigh is not necessarily a part of the body that takes a long time to heal. Depending on the grade of the injury, there are theoretical deadlines for returning to the field, which also depend a lot on the player’s feelingsexplains Valentin Bové, physiotherapist at F91 Dudelange, reigning Luxembourg champion. If Real has decided to stop for fifteen days, we are on a grade 2, therefore rather on a lesion without hematoma, which is not very worrying. It is especially during the physical preparation that the hamstrings should not be put aside, because it is a part of the body conducive to recurrence. As for Ousmane Dembélé and Gareth Bale for example…” Benzema’s return to the field at the beginning of October went wonderfully, he played all of several matches, scored in the Clásico, before being bothered again at the end of October by his thigh. The left, this time, suffering from muscle fatigue. Worrying to see this so early in the season? Not necessarily. “Muscular fatigue is often linked to an imbalance in the effort/recovery balance. It’s understandable to see that in a footballer at the start of the season, because the player has just gone through a phase of physical and athletic preparation. It is simply the time that the body regains an ability to accept the usual loadscontinues Valentin Bové. With the information we have, I don’t have the impression that there is something more serious behind it. He is coming out of a magnificent season, his body is showing him small signs of fatigue, of the need for recuperation, especially since he is no longer very young. »
Only 28 minutes of play over the last month of competition
If age is no longer necessarily the friend of Benzema, who could blow out his thirty-fifth candle in Qatar if France goes all the way, experience and knowledge of his body, on the other hand, speak in his favor for arrive in full possession of his means on November 22 against Australia. “On a purely anatomical level, it is of course easier to rehabilitate a younger muscle. But age is less of a factor than you might think. Healthy living is essential, and a player like Benzema knows this concept well. Rehabilitation is easier when the player is serious and invested. And those at the end of their career are more aware that they have to take care of their bodies, so sometimes when the machine is well run, it’s easier. , adds the physiotherapist. Real, who will face Cadiz on Thursday, should once again ignore the presence of their star striker, who will therefore have played only 28 minutes since October 22. “It’s not totally impossible to see him 100% from the start of the competition. I’m not worried about someone like Karim Benzema. Everything will depend on his feelings in the next few days, and the re-athletic phase he will have. The question is whether the rest has done him any good, even if there, for once, it’s a lot of rest, and above all, if he doesn’t lack rhythm. , concludes Bové. And anyway, what’s the point of worrying when France has the best second option in the world?
By Alexandre Lejeune
Words by Valentin Bové collected by AL.
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