- Frontman picked up knock at 2022 World Cup
- Initially thought he could run it off
- Eventually had to undergo surgery
WHAT HAPPENED? The Arsenal striker headed to Qatar with his country in November hoping to help them to capture a global crown in the Middle East. His tournament was cut short in the group stage, with a knee problem picked up against Cameroon ultimately forcing him under the knife. Jesus, who only returned to action with the Gunners on March 12, was initially unaware of how severe his injury was and had hoped to run it off before becoming painfully aware that he had done some serious damage.
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WHAT THEY SAID: In a docu-series produced by Arsenal and adidas covering his recovery and rehabilitation, Jesus has said of why he carried on for 15 minutes after picking up a knock: “To be honest, I don't know what happened, I don't feel nothing but something changed. I kept playing without pain, discomfort, nothing. Then I get subbed off, nothing. Then after, on the bench it became so big I couldn't bend my knee and I was so scared you know. I've always been good with pain, I have played football since I was or 12 years old and have played with pain.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Arsenal team-mate Gabriel Martinelli was on the pitch against Cameroon when Jesus was forced off, and he was also unaware that a club and international colleague had suffered an injury that was bad enough that it required an operation. Martinelli said: “At half-time, he said he was feeling something in his knee, but I didn't think it was that bad. I think it was the day after the game, he went to do the scan and he was in the canteen where we were about to have lunch. He said there was something in his meniscus and he needed to have surgery. When you have this type of injury you get sad, you know? You could see in his face he was sad but at the same time you could see that energy that he has, that hunger that he has and he was telling everyone he was going to come back stronger and that's what he tried to do.”
IN THREE PHOTOS:Getty Images
WHAT NEXT? Jesus has taken in three appearances for Arsenal since returning to fitness, including two Premier League outings off the bench, and will be hoping that a first goal since October 1 is not too far away as he looks to help the Gunners to title glory.