There was a piece we put out this morning on how Rafa Benitez has had to change the way Newcastle play because of the absence of Florian Lejeune in the back four.
Rafa has said Lejeune is strong on the ball and could start attacks from the back, but apparently, that’s not a strength of any of our current fit center-backs – Lascelles, Clark, Schar, and Fernandez.
Lejeune was operated on by a world-renowned surgeon in Italy – Professor Paolo Mariani who was the one who operated on Rolando Aarons two years, and Rolando was back playing in a short four months.
Here’s some information on Professor Mariani.
ACL injuries used to end the careers of players decades ago – like Brian Clough as one example – or they could be out for over a year a short few years ago.
But surgical advances and surgeons of the caliber of Professor Mariani mean that if everything goes well in the rehabilitation, they can be back in four months – amazing.
Benitez used Professor Mariani while he was the Napoli manager and sent Lorenzo Insigne there with a similar knee diagnosis and the forward returned in less than five months.
Florian Lejeune – now recovering from a severe ACL knee injury
Insigne was out from Nov 9, 2014, through Mar 20, 2015 – a total of 131 days – just less than 18 weeks.
Florian had his operation on Tuesday, August 7th so if he does as well as Insigne, he could return to the team around late December – always assuming he doesn’t have any setbacks in his recovery.
That’s probably the very earliest he could come back – sometime in December – and if he can do that – it would be excellent – but the Newcastle medics will take no risks with the Frenchman.
And of course, the club are wise not to put any official recovery date out that may put pressure on the player – we assume he is not going to read this article.
Here’s the tweet sent out by Florian after his surgery and he was a treadmill a few days later – and that was good news.
— Florian Lejeune (@lejeune_florian) August 7, 2018
This is what Rafa had said after the surgery last month:
“Normally this injury, in the past, could be nine months. It depends on what is going on, but it was between six and nine months,”
“Now, in our experience with this surgeon – Professor Mariani – in Italy, it takes less – normally between four and six months. It depends what is going on and if we have any complications.”
“Yes, for sure (we expect Lejeune to play again this season). Last year we had Rolando, and he was fine in four months with the same surgeon.”
“Normally, he will be out between four and six months – if you don’t have any complications.”
It’s now about a calendar month since his surgery and we assume no news is good news and he is progressing well in his recovery.
Here is Florian’s Twitter account if you’d like to send him words of encouragement – it can be very lonely when you are recovering from a severe injury.