The majority of Bayern Munich players, and for the sake of the argument, the majority of professional footballers that contract the novel coronavirus do not get seriously ill, but it is still absolutely not something to be taken lightly. Alphonso Davies’ recent myocarditis diagnosis is cause for concern for both Bayern Munich and footballers as a whole, despite him not even knowing that there was an issue with his heart. It was specific tests and scans that Bayern’s medical team routinely performs on players that have recently recovered from the coronavirus that located the case of myocarditis.
While Davies isn’t having any serious symptoms related to his case of myocarditis, both Manuel Neuer and Thomas Muller recently spoke about how coming back from being infected the virus is nothing to be taken lightly or overlooked just because footballers are in incredible physical shape. “This is a topic that is not to be trifled with. You really have to be careful with something like that. We mustn’t underestimate that, we mustn’t say: ‘Okay, yes, it’ll be fine next week,” Muller recently said (Abendzeitung). Muller, knowing Davies’ positive, energetic, and upbeat nature, called for his teammate to make sure he takes it easy during his recovery period.
Much like injuries, coming back too early from a COVID infection can be just as dangerous as with other viruses or illnesses, as Muller alluded to. “You’ve heard it again and again when you supposedly started too early with a flu-like infection or flu,” he explained. Of course, there have been a handful of professional players that have experienced complications or difficulties making their way back from COVID. Both Newcastle United’s Karl Darlow and Allan Saint-Maximin experienced respiratory issues well after they had recovered from the virus and Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne said he still doesn’t quite feel 100% back to where he used to be prior to contracting the virus himself.
Much like Muller, Neuer emphasized the importance for footballers to go through the necessary tests and examinations after recovering from the virus before they physically exert themselves too much, running the risk of complications. “That’s why I can only recommend every athlete to do the tests before you start,” he said.
With the recent rise in cardiac events in professional athletes, there is added concern on heart health. Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest during Denmark’s Euro 2020 match against Finland was a sobering reminder of what can go wrong in a split second and has left an underlying, physiological concern when it comes to cardiac issues. Myocarditis, much like the coronavirus, also has a tendency to be a divisive issue with concern to the virus itself and the vaccinations. Regardless of the root issue(s), players need to be monitored properly to ensure they’re not putting themselves at an unnecessarily risk after recovering from COVID.