1. FC Köln / Injury News

Patrick Helmes: On his way back to action or ready to retire?

 

Ain’t the rumor-mill fun? Nothing like an extra week between matches to set all of Planet Effzeh ablaze with over-excited talk about all things Effzeh-related.

No rumor is more combustible than the one regarding the future of one Patrick Helmes, especially considering the relative ineffectiveness of everyone who has taken a ride on the striker carousel this season. It’s not an entirely new bit of gossip that Helmes’ playing days may be finished as a result of cartilage damage in his hip, but the longer his rehabilitation continues while the offense of the Billy Goats flounders, the more frustrated impatience turns to speculation about such matters.

Peter Stöger’s response to the rumors that Helmes may not return at all?

“That’s Schwachsinn.”

I think we can safely translate that as “horseshit,” though “bullshit” also works. If you need a less-offensive word (keep in mind people, words are just sounds conveying ideas; it’s your prudish ideas that bring offense.), let’s go with “bologna” or even the more-literal “feeble-minded.”

In other words, Stöger could barely be moved to dignify the idea with a response, though he did, of course, respond.

“Patrick is doing what he can. He rides bike and is on the treadmill,” explains the coach. “I have spoken with him today, and he currently has no pain.”

Yet . . .

“There is no date for his return, nor do we ask the therapists daily for and update on his status.”

Ah . . . there it is.

I suppose when you say that the “worst case” is that it could be a career-ending injury, that’s technically true. When Anthony Ujah limped off the pitch earlier this season, the “worst case” would be that it was a career-ender, but that’s taking things to an extreme.

My policy is to not be too worried about things you cannot change. Helmes will be back when he comes back. It does seem fair to assume that a hip injury to a guy in his 30’s will mean that if and when he returns, he will be somewhat diminished from his prior level of capabilities, which means that the club should be preparing for a future where Helmes is not the center-piece of a Bundesliga-capable offense.

And if that time has arrived earlier than expected, then it has, but fretting over it without specific knowledge is not going to do anyone any damned good.

See you soon, Patrick? And not just in civilian clothing as a spectator, na?

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