Kenya's captain has revealed how his homeland inspired his recovery from serious injury
In an article he wrote, wanyama revealed how Kenyan kids inspired him to get up and begin his recovery journey.
In an article he wrote for Daily mail, wanyama revealed how Kenya inspired him to get up and work hard to recover from his injury.
Here is the article.
Being injured as a footballer teaches you many things about yourself but nothing more so than if you have your health then you have your wealth.
Money and all the trappings of being a footballer mean nothing unless you have your health and fitness.
This has been a dark time for me. When Tottenham played Real Madril at Wembley and I had to watch... I wanted to play so badly, it was probably the lowest point of my career.
Before Christmas though we visited Barnet Hospital and I saw small children who were very down, very sick, yet when they saw us they had big smiles on their faces. They gave such a positive vibe. Then I said to myself, 'Victor, your problem is so very small'.
In my country Kenya, I have been to see young children suffering with cancer. I help them to raise money for treatment.
One boy was having his third stage of chemotherapy.
Spending that day with him, I could feel his pain. He was so fragile. Watching him go through what he did was so moving yet he appreciated me being there so much.
It was a Sunday, we played a little football and went on a few fun fair rides. He was so happy and that made me feel amazing. My knee troubled my mind yet I was at peace helping those children.
I injured my left knee in a pre-season friendly in July. A tackle came in and I turned awkwardly. I felt a little pain but thought it was just a knock. Then in the gym I was doing an explosive movement with a weight and I felt it a lot. It swelled and I didn't know what was happening.
It settled and we flew to Orlando to play the International Champions Cup but on the plane my knee had swollen again and was quite large. I didn't train, just went to the gym and did some work in the swimming pool.
Then in the game with Paris Saint-Germain, I came on in the second half and got a really strong kick in the back of my knee, which made it worse. It was very uncomfortable.
I thought I could still play on though and we went to New York but when we landed it had swollen again. Something was definitely wrong. We got it scanned and it showed damage to the cartilage.
The medical team took a good look and, along with the specialist opinion, it was decided that treatment rather than surgery was the best way forward.
From there it was frustrating. I started the season coming on against Newcastle then I played a full game against Chelsea but it hadn’t settled as I hoped. I was so low, worrying about how long it would take.
I'd go in for treatment then come home and ice the knee every two hours until 2am. I'd try to sleep but I was thinking too much, worrying. I'd get up about 8am then go in for treatment again at 9am or 10am.
It wasn't an easy process but Mauricio Pochettino said to me: 'We don't want you to repeat this injury, be patient, we want you to recover properly, no risks'.
It helped me focus. I put my head down to work. I'd see Danny Rose, Erik Lamela and Harry Winks who were injured too. Everyone has different programmes of recovery but we'd all try to keep each other positive.
Jan Vertonghen, Kieran Trippier and ‘Sonny’ — Heung-min Son, he’s very funny — are the practical jokers in the team and they kept the atmosphere light.
I never felt disconnected from the squad while I was injured. People find it hard to believe but we are an unbelievably tight group. I've not known it before where everyone is friends.
It was euphoric when I finally returned to training. The medical team wanted to ensure we didn’t rush and that my recovery did not require surgery.
It's tough at Tottenham, Jesus Perez, the manager's assistant is mad. He knows everything about all of us, he works you hard with different ideas and it's very fruitful. I lost 7kg when I arrived at Tottenham from Southampton. He made me fitter. Every day now I feel stronger.
When I came back against Swansea City, I had no pain and no fear about my knee. I trusted the guys who helped me and thanked them. I knew I was ready. As the children showed me, you have your health, you feel rich.
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