Nairobi — Posta Rangers skipper Jockins Atudo has revealed that the devastating knee injury he suffered last season pushed him to contemplate hanging his boots at the tender age of 36.
Atudo had to undergo multiple surgeries including one on a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), but after overcoming that dark period of thought, the experienced defender is on his way to recovery and is already whetting his appetite for the new season.
"Since I started playing football, this was the first time ever that I was undergoing surgery," Atudo, a league winner with Sony Sugar in 2006 and Tusker FC in 2011, 2012 said in an interview on the league's official sponsor BetKing's YouTube channel.
He added; "At first it didn't give me rest at all and for the first time, I lost hope in football and I thought maybe this is the last one. Thankfully as the days progressed and I started my recovery, things became lighter and now I am hoping I will be back soon," he added.
Atudo underwent surgery in September last year and missed the start of the season with Posta.
He has described the period out as one of the toughest in his career, but says through the help of family and friends as well as the Kenya Footballers Welfare Association (KEFWA), he has managed to travel the long road to recovery.
"KEFWA came in and they started offering help to most of us who were injured and I really give them a thumbs up because that is the togetherness we always talk about as players. Financially, it had been a bit tough to continue with the recovery especially with the COVID-19 break but they really came through," Atudo says.
He adds; "It was very tough. When you are injured you almost turn into a baby because you are always being assisted to do most of the things. But I am really thankful for my wife because she was always there for me,"
"I was on crutches for two months and at times I wished I would even just limp without using them. Mentally, it is a tough place for a player to be."
Atudo has disclosed that he was always encouraged to push on towards recovery especially with the numerous examples of players who recovered from ACL surgeries and got back to being at their best.
"I always look at the players who have gone for ACL surgeries and returned and I tell myself why not me? I am really glad for the far that I have come and despite the fact that I am not yet 100pc, at least I am not where I was one year back," the experienced stopper further added.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been like a blessing in disguise with sporting activities stopped and the five months have given him enough time to recover properly and is now waiting for action.
"I might not be ready now, but at least when I get back to training, I will not have so much catching up to do. I am looking forward to the new season and hopefully I can play a role for Posta," he further states.