An ACL tear is a devastating injury for a professional athlete to suffer, and may even be a career-defining one. For Bayern Munich’s Lucas Hernández, the timing could not have possibly been worse. After working hard to regain fitness for the World Cup after sustaining an adductor injury in a September Champions League match against FC Barcelona, his tournament ended after just ten minutes on the field.
It wasn’t just the tournament that might have been over. The 26-year-old center-back reportedly considered calling it quits on his career, too:
Lucas Hernández was so devastated after his injury that he even considered retiring from football - a thought that quickly disappeared after his surgery, Lucas was in good spirits and even joked with his teammates that he would come back to play the World Cup final [@lequipe] pic.twitter.com/fgATFJECXY— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) November 26, 2022
Fortunately for the Bavarians, they’ll have their stalwart defender back — and hopefully for the long haul. A World Cup Final is out of the question, of course, and it will still be a problem that Hernández won’t be able to take the field again in the Champions League, where Bayern have unfavorably drawn PSG in the next round.
Still, after a successful surgery, the road to recovery is already beginning. Hernández will now have some time to cheer on his France teammates — Bayern players Kingsley Coman, Dayot Upamecano, and Benjamin Pavard among them — as they try and claim a repeat crown.
An interesting footnote to this story is that Hernandez’s initial disappointment was the same feeling that left Coman wondering if the physical toll he was accumulating was worth it any more. Like his fellow Frenchman, though, Hernandez ultimately thought better of the situation after speaking to friends and family.
In so many cases, athletes are judged by their performances on the playing field and little else. It is always important to remember the hours of work and dedication that that it took to reach the level of a player like Hernandez. To see all of the just disappear in the blink of an eye is a crushing blow to take. Thankfully, the proper support structure around a player can help alleviate some of the immediate devastation that they feel in these instances.