In a recent interview with SportBild, SC Freiburg and Germany striker Luca Waldschmidt revealed that he had to go on a liquid only diet for 11 days after sustaining multiple injuries in Germany’s European qualifying win over Belarus in November. Waldschmidt’s collision with Belarus goalkeeper Alyaksandr Hutar left him with a facial fracture, a concussion, and injuries to his knee and ankle. The facial fracture required surgery to repair and the 23-year-old said it was a difficult recovery period that prevented him from eating solid foods for nearly two weeks:
I don't have a lot of pain anymore, luckily. I was able to heal at home for a week after the surgery and now the stitches are also out. Now it only hurts a little everywhere: my face, my knee, and my ankle.
Laughing during the recovery process, in addition to consuming his meals, he said, became a painful task:
When I had to give a belly laugh, the pain was really terrible, yes. But now I have it down that I can laugh so that my face doesn't move so much and doesn't hurt too bad. From the accident until I got the stitches out, I was on a liquid diet. The bones were not supposed to be strained by chewing. The swelling needed to go down and everything needed to heal. When the stitches came out, I ate leafy salad with mushrooms so that I could slowly work back to eating something solid.
He’s watched the incident back on video replay and he said that the video makes it look worse than he remembers. At the end of the run that led to the collision, he feels that staying on his plant foot instead of going to ground initially is part of what made his injuries so substantial:
In the video it looks worse than I remember. The facial injuries were definitely very unpleasant. I stood with one leg still on the ground, that was the problem. The shock came up top, and I lost control of the lower part of my body. I was still lucky: apparently I have very elastic tendons.
The match against Belarus was only Waldschmidt’s third appearance for Germany’s senior squad, and he was hopeful of perhaps earning a spot in the squad for Euro 2020. Joachim Löw had said that it a pity that Waldschmidt had sustained unfortunate injuries at a time when he was trying to make a strong impression. While his fortunes with the German national team may have taken a hit, Waldschmidt says it’s much more of a goal of his to help Freiburg qualify for European competition:
The club always comes first; hence success with Freiburg! If we have a good season, that plays into the other dreams.