Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was establishing himself as a key player for Liverpool when he cruelly suffered a serious injury in a Champions League tie against AS Roma at Anfield in April.
The 24-year-old sustained multiple ligament damage while attempting a tackle and the images of him being stretchered off the pitch were heartbreaking.
It later transpired that Oxlade-Chamberlain would miss the Champions League final against Real Madrid and England’s 2018 World Cup campaign in Russia.
Who knows how much of a difference the midfielder would have made to Gareth Southgate’s side this summer.
But many people – including Chelsea legend Frank Lampard – felt that Oxlade-Chamberlain was playing with such confidence with his club that he would have been a major asset for the Three Lions.
Unfortunately, it’s now emerged that Oxlade-Chamberlain could miss the entire 2018-19 campaign as he recovers from surgery.
He went under the knife eight days after suffering the injury and the procedure was a complete success. However, there’s a very good chance we won’t see the Ox back in action until the start of the 2019-20 season.
OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN DESERVES IMMENSE RESPECT
Remarkably, Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Oxlade-Chamberlain and the club have known about the extent of the former Arsenal player’s injury since April.
However, Oxlade-Chamberlain didn’t want to tell the public or even his teammates about the severity of his injury in order to avoid derailing their momentum at the end of the season.
Given the timing of the announcement, it would also seem that he deliberately chose after the World Cup to reveal the news so not to cause any unnecessary distractions to his teammates out in Russia.
— James Milner (@JamesMilner) July 18, 2018
“It feels like now is an appropriate time to tell people that for Ox this coming season will be about focusing on recovery and rehab,” Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com.
“We have known this from pretty much the day after he got the injury and after the successful surgery, we were sure of it. I hope everyone treats this information responsibly. There has been no change, no setback – it’s exactly on the schedule we expected and planned for. The new information is that we’re now giving more detail publicly.
“It is typical of Ox that he didn’t want the news to overshadow the end of the season and, to be quite honest, we thought we could wait and tell people at an appropriate time.
“His surgery – which he had on the day of our second leg in Roma – has been completely successful and his recovery has started superbly well.
“But the truth of the matter is that we are preparing this season knowing he will not be with us on the pitch for competitive matches for the majority of it. If we do see him back this season it will be a bonus.”
This is proof – if ever it was needed – that Oxlade-Chamberlain is a genuine class act; one of football’s true good guys.
At what must have been the lowest point of his career, the Ox’s first thoughts were about his teammates rather than himself.
All the best with your recovery, Alex.