The last few days have been nothing but negative for everyone related to the Arsenal the club after the injury to Eduardo da Silva. Today is a little different, however, with the club and the player receiving the quite excellent news that Eduardo may be back on the pitch before the end of 2008. The club released a statement on their official website confirming that the Brazilian-born Croatian has suffered a broken fibula as well as dislocated ankle but suggested that he should be back running in six months time and possibly playing football three months later.
“All being well, Eduardo will have his leg in plaster and using crutches for the next six to eight weeks. After that time, partial weight-bearing exercises will be scheduled into a slow rehabilitation process. It is hoped that Eduardo will be running again in six months time and making a full recovery after nine months.”
Although there are likely to be setbacks and Eduardo will have to deal with the psychological consequences of the injury this is still absolutely fabulous news, especially considering the initial suggestions that he may not have been able to play football again. I’m sure the Croatian and his family, as well as everybody at associated with the Arsenal Football Club will have been delighted when they heard the great news. I know I certainly was.
The key factor in Eduardo’s shorter-than-expected recovery period was the fact that he only broke one of the bones in his leg and dislocated his ankle rather than breaking both the fibula and tibula bones, the injury that ruined David Busst’s career. You may have seen photos of Eduardo’s bone sticking through his skin (and no, I’m not going to link to them here) but I’d suggest it’s for that very reason that the second bone in his leg did not break. Nevertheless, I’m not a doctor, so if there is anyone out there who can clarify that I’d love to hear it. And of course, apologies in advance if it turns out I’m speaking utter bollocks.
The club gave supporters the opportunity to send the striker messages of comfort in an attempt to support Eduardo through this tough time and a series of those messages were published on the official website. You can check them out here. While I didn’t actually get to send in a message of my own I particularly liked this one:
“Keep your chin up and remember when you’re feeling low we’re all thinking about you. Once you’re in the Arsenal family you’re in for life. Can’t wait for your first goal when you’re back playing for us.” – Kevin Hills, Kent.
It is going to be a special moment when he returns and an even more special moment when he scores that first goal. With the positive diagnosis that Eduardo has been given and the mature attitude he has already shown during his time in hospital I’m sure he will recover and get back to scoring ways soon enough.
Moving on now and a couple of the Arsenal players have had words to say about the tackle by Birmingham defender Martin Taylor that injured Eduardo, not least of all the man who suffered the injury himself. Indeed, an article from a Brazilian newspaper indicates that the Croatian has accused Taylor of trying to injure him despite previous reports from England suggesting that Eduardo had forgiven the defender for the tackle.
“Taylor was malicious with what he did. I don’t remember well what happened and I don’t want to see the action on television or in the papers. But what I know is that what he did was on purpose.”
Whether the translation is right or wrong or doesn’t quite represent what Eduardo has said, I totally agree with his comments. However, I still feel a certain amount of clarification is required to explain both my and indeed his statement. It was an awful tackle and although I doubt Taylor would never have wanted to break Eduardo’s leg there’s little doubt in my – or indeed the Croatian’s – mind that he was playing the man and deliberately fouled the striker. As such, it was a malicious tackle and it was certainly done on purpose.
While the media will probably have a field day trying to show that Eduardo has said that Taylor wanted to break his leg on purpose I’d suggest that the Croatian is just trying to say that he was fouled deliberately, a highly reasonable claim given the evidence. As such, I’m sure Eduardo has forgiven Taylor and I do hope this is the last that is said about the whole situation.
Update: Indeed, it now seems the article has been removed by Sky Sports, which suggests to me the source was less than reliable. Long live Eduardo the gentleman!
Bendtner defends Taylor + Toure back
The other player who has spoken out about the tackle is the man who will surely be replacing Eduardo in the starting team for Arsenal, Nicklas Bendtner. The Danish striker, who played on loan at Birmingham last season, has backed former teammate Taylor over the challenge, suggesting that the defender is not the sort of person who would harm an opponent intentionally despite agreeing with the decision by the referee to send him off.
“The referee had no decision but to send Martin off. Due to being at Birmingham I know Martin is not a player like this though. But given what happened you can’t say it was anything other than a red card.”
As I said yesterday, it doesn’t matter how much of a good bloke Taylor appears to be on or off the pitch, he deliberately tried to foul Eduardo and he deserves whatever punishment is dished out. End of story, let’s move along.
The final good news of the day is that Kolo Toure may be fit for the second leg of the Champions League clash with Milan, which takes place on Wednesday week. The defender, who injured his calf just minutes into the first-leg held at the Emirates, said that he is confident of being available to play in Italy despite being unlikely to feature against Aston Villa this weekend.
“I should be a bit short for Saturday against Aston Villa, however against Milan, fingers crossed, I will be fine.”
Whether Toure gets selected to play is entirely another matter. There will likely be a number of supporters hoping Toure does start against Milan in the San Siro, but I’m not sure I’m one of them. Indeed, for all of the criticism I gave Philippe Senderos earlier in the season (and however justified it was at the time!) he was arguably the best player on the park after coming on in the first leg and the slower pace of the European game really seemed to suit his style. As such, it will be interesting to see what Wenger decides to do.
That’s about it for today. I just want to let everybody know that the finishing date of the O2 Arsenal Opus competition that has been running on the blog has been extended from the 28th of February until the 5th of March. That means that you have just over a week to vote for your favourite Arsenal photo and be in with a chance to win your own copy of the Arsenal Opus signed by Arsene Wenger and worth over ₤3,000. It’s a great competition that you can enter by clicking here, and if you want to know a little bit more about what it’s all about you can do so by clicking here. As always, I wish you the best of luck!
What do you think?
Have your say on Eduardo, Taylor, Bendtner or Toure by leaving a comment.