Arsène Wenger once said that rehab “feels like it’s endless when you’re a player”, and it certainly felt like that for Carl Jenkinson.
The England right back was sidelined for nine months with a cruciate ligament injury before making his return in October’s League Cup win over Reading, and he has revealed what motivated him to come back better and stronger than before.
“Being patient is not a typical trait of a footballer because we all just want to be out there playing football,” Jenkinson told Arsenal Player. “We’ll do anything we can to get out there quicker. You do have to be realistic and sometimes you need people around you to just wind your neck in a bit to be a bit more realistic.
“At times it did feel like it was endless and it was a long old slog getting back to fitness, but it’s all an experience and all part of a footballer’s career. You have to get on with these things because there’s no point moping around or sulking.
“It won’t help you or the people around you, you want to be as positive as you can, not only for yourself but also for the lads around you that you see every day. It was a difficult time but I’ve taken a lot from it and I’d like to think that it’ll stand me in good stead for the future.
“Did it frustrate me? Massively because you’re watching and thinking, ‘That should be me out there’ but instead you’re sat there because you can’t run or do what you love doing. It’s very frustrating being injured but there’s people out there who have had it a lot worse than me, who have had a lot worse injuries than me so I’m lucky.
“I’m fortunate to have come back. I feel fine and my knee’s not giving me any problems. I’m fit and well. It’s probably not the worst injury I’ll ever have. When I have another one then I’ll just have to deal with it, it’s just part of being a footballer. You just have to get on with things. That’s what I’ve tried to do and that’s what I’ll always try to do.”