Since pulling up with a calf injury in December 2019 that kept her out for nearly three months, Jen Beattie was plagued by soft tissue injuries in her hamstring and calf.
The last two seasons had become a succession of getting injured, recovering from injury, playing a few games and getting another soft tissue issue. Allied to her breast cancer diagnosis last autumn, it has made for a stop-start couple of seasons for the Scotland international.
Back in May, Beattie was advised by the club medics to undergo surgery on a back issue that the player says she has been managing since her teens. Recently, it has been illness that has kept ‘Beats’ from the squad but ahead of her return for the game against HB Koge tonight, Beattie explains to Arseblog News exactly what it was that was bothering her.
“I’ve been managing a disc bulge since I was 16 or 17. I did it back squatting in a gym. It’s something that I’ve just managed throughout my 20s and then it just got a bit more painful.
“I think lockdown made it worse, going from zero football for three months back into a very intense pre-season and it flared up massively and got progressively worse.
“In my L5-S1 joint I ended up having a discectomy and had part of the disc removed because it was starting to hit the nerve roots. To be honest, the year or so leading up to that surgery was really, really horrible on a day-to-day basis.
“If anyone has had back issues they will know it’s debilitating and it was mentally really, really tough to be injured so much. I’m so glad I’ve had the procedure done, it’s taken away so much pain, not just in my football but in normal life as well.
“I’m so glad I had it done, the club were brilliant and found me a really good surgeon in London that we trusted 100% and he did an amazing job. I was always worried, back surgery is not something you take lightly but with the help of the club and the rehab process here, I was back on the pitch in 3-4 months which I was really happy with.
“It will be something I will have to manage not just for the rest of my career but the rest of my life but thankfully I have the support here from my club and my teammates and I feel really, really good.”