‘How I helped Jenko through tough times’

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has revealed how he helped Carl Jenkinson through his long-term injury.

Jenkinson’s West Ham United loan spell was cut short by knee ligament damage in January but, according to Oxlade-Chamberlain, the England Under-21s defender has returned to training looking physically and mentally stronger than ever.

“I’m delighted to see him even doing as well as he’s doing now,” the England midfielder told Arsenal Player. “Obviously he’s had a really bad injury, when you do your cruciate it’s one of the worst injuries you can do. So mentally, it’s always hard to take.

"Carl dealt with it really well because he’s obviously someone who’s extremely passionate about his football"

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

“The time it takes to recover is hard and obviously because I’m his best mate I’ve seen him the whole way through his recovery and I’ve almost been there every step of the way so I know his ups and his downs, how he’s felt the whole time and how hard he’s worked more than anything.

“He’s gone through different sorts of stages and mindsets I think. Everyone has their own ways of dealing with the disappointment of being away from football and I think Carl dealt with it really well because he’s obviously someone who’s extremely passionate about his football.

“I’ll be delighted to see all his hard work pay off and for him to return. He’s looking really good at the moment. He’s stayed around good people, that’s always important. He’s stayed close to his good friends and he’s kept his spirits up and I think it’s paid off. It’s been a long, tough struggle for him but luckily enough now, he’s looking like he’s in a place where he’s nearly at the end of the tunnel.

“He said to me before the game against Forest, ‘Look Chambo, I don’t want any of you lot taking it easy out there because I’ve got an eye on a little return soon in one of the later rounds’. So saying that reminded me how close he could be and that was nice, it gave me a little bit of motivation going into the game. So hopefully he can come back soon and maybe one of the cup rounds soon he can make his return.”

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