Chelsea star Callum Hudson-Odoi has revealed that a “weird” injury left him unable to pass the ball 10 yards, with a “neurological” issue forcing him to spend several weeks on the sidelines.
The versatile 21-year-old took in 28 appearances for the Blues across all competitions in the 2021-22 campaign, but the last of those came in a FA Cup clash with Luton on March 2 – a contest in which he was replaced on the hour mark.
He spent the rest of the season in the treatment room, with a bizarre ailment preventing him from figuring again in Thomas Tuchel’s plans.
Why did Hudson-Odoi spend so long out for Chelsea?
A product of a famed academy system at Stamford Bridge has told the Blues’ official website of why he lacked game time towards the end of last season: “It was a weird one. It was a neurological thing where I had a tweaked nerve in my back and it stemmed all the way down through my body, so it then became difficult for me to retain muscle.
“There was no power really in my legs and everything was like ‘woah’. I was trying to pass the ball 10 yards but I had no power and I couldn’t even do it.
“I think it was also a post-coronavirus thing from December, which I couldn’t believe because it had been such a long time before.
“The issue started with my Achilles and then I was trying to use other parts of my body to make up for it, so for example when I was running I wasn’t running on my toes as much because my Achilles power wasn’t that strong.
“I was trying to find another way to run and then it started affecting my back but all of it is good now. My Achilles is strong again and my back is strong so everything is perfect. It’s one of those things but I’m glad to be back and to have all my power, strength and speed back is all that I can wish for.”
Is Hudson-Odoi staying at Chelsea?
There has been talk of interest being shown in the England international during the summer transfer window, and he admits that his sole focus for 2022-23 is to see as many minutes as possible – preferably in his favoured position on the flanks.
Hudson-Odoi added: “I want to be playing as much as possible. Regular football brings out the consistency so I want to just keep playing and playing as much as I can.
“Playing those 10 out of 11 games in my preferred position on the left side was massive for me because that’s where I know I can be at my best and do what I do as much as possible.
“My main goal this summer and throughout the season is to be stronger. There were times in the season last year when I was running with the ball and feeling like I could get barged off it or I’m not as strong as I thought I was.
“I’ve been putting more muscle on in training to make sure I’m getting bigger so when the opponents come, I know that I’m strong enough to hold them off, or that I won’t get barged and I can barge them instead.”