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Editorials, Sports

The Achilles Tendon’s Rude Awakening featuring Kimpembe

In this article, the Achilles tendon is the foe that turns weekend warriors into Netflix champions and also features Kimpembe’s PSG nightmare.

  • Toyosi Afolayan
  • 16th May 2024

French defender Presnel Kimpembe‘s season has been a tale of two halves, separated not by the calendar year, but by a cruel twist of fate. The 28-year-old started the campaign as a mainstay in Paris Saint-Germain’s dominant force, but a nagging Achilles issue soon turned into a nightmare.


Kimpembe endured a dismal spell on the sidelines, battling the Achilles problem for months on end. Relief finally seemed to arrive in November, when he made his long-awaited return to the PSG fold. However, the joy was short-lived. Concerns swirled that Kimpembe might have been rushed back into action too quickly, and those fears were tragically confirmed in early January. The defender was forced to undergo surgery on his Achilles tendon, effectively ending his season prematurely.



Despite being restricted to a mere four appearances across all competitions, Kimpembe couldn’t hide his pride as PSG clinched another Ligue 1 title. Taking to Instagram, he shared a series of pictures commemorating the club’s achievement. His message painted a poignant picture of a season marked by both disappointment and personal growth.


“One more trophy and a 50th in [PSG’s] history,” Kimpembe wrote. “[It’s been] a difficult season but one filled with personal growth. There is still one more trophy to win together.”


Social Media Reacts


One particularly striking image in Kimpembe’s post sent a wave of support through the social media world. It wasn’t a picture of jubilant celebrations, but a close-up of the back of his foot, etched with a stark reminder of his battle – heavy, dark stitches marking the path of his Achilles surgery.


The image sparked an outpouring of empathy and admiration. Fans lauded Kimpembe’s resilience, with comments like “Athletes need to be more appreciated” and “Looking at it makes me lightheaded. Respect to him.”


Others offered words of encouragement, drawing inspiration from the likes of Santi Cazorla, who famously battled back from a similar injury. One user commented, “He’ll be back stronger,” echoing the sentiment of many who believe Kimpembe’s fight is far from over.


Achilles Tendon Rupture


Let’s talk about Achilles tendon ruptures, also known as the moment your weekend warrior dreams turn into a Netflix marathon reality. For all our Sunday league strikers and dusty-shined street ballers out there who think they can shrug off an injury and keep playing like nothing happened, remember Presnel Kimpembe? Yeah, that wasn’t a cramp, folks. That was his Achilles saying, “Peace out!”


The Achilles: Not Invincible (and Not a Superhero)


The Achilles tendon is basically a tough band connecting your calf muscles to your heel bone. Think of it like a superhero’s super-tight yoga pants – strong and supportive, but push them too far, and there’s a chance for a major wardrobe malfunction (and by wardrobe malfunction, we mean excruciating pain and an inability to walk). A rupture, in layman’s terms, is when this super-yoga-pant snaps.


An illustration showing the various types of Achilles tendon problems.


The Rude Awakening: Signs Your Achilles Just Gave Up


So, how do you know if your inner Kimpembe is about to make an unwelcome appearance? Here’s a play-by-play of what your body might be screaming at you:


Heel Stabbed by a Dagger Award:


A sharp, sudden pain in your heel, like someone snuck up and shanked your Achilles with a rusty blade.


The Snaptastic Sound Effect:


You might hear a loud pop or crack – like a firecracker going off right under your foot (not exactly the celebratory kind).


Heel on Strike (But Not the Bowling Kind):


Swelling around your heel – it’ll look like you wandered into a beehive convention without proper protection (your shoes).


The Grounded Feeling:


You suddenly can’t put any weight on your injured leg. This isn’t a magic trick, it’s your body saying, “Nope, you’re done.”


The Gaping Hole (Not literally):


In some cases, there might even be a noticeable gap or indentation where your tendon used to be. Just don’t poke it – trust us.


Types of Achilles Tendon Ruptures: 


Achilles ruptures come in flavors, just like your favorite ice cream (hopefully not Mint chocolate chip). Here’s the breakdown:


Type 1: The Minor Mishap:


A partial tear – like a small snag in your yoga pants. Good news! Surgery usually isn’t required, but you’ll still need to see a doctor for proper healing.


Type 2: The Reattachment Tango:


A complete tear with a gap less than 3cm. Imagine a ripped seam – surgery is needed to stitch those two ends back together.


Type 3 & 4: The Needing-Extra-Material Mends:


Complete tears with gaps exceeding 3cm. Think ripped yoga pants with a huge hole – surgery is required, along with a graft (think of it as a fabric patch) to bridge the gap.


The Road to Recovery


After surgery (or not, depending on the tear), comes rehab. This is where you’ll be working with a physiotherapist to rebuild strength and flexibility in your heel and ankle. It’ll take time and dedication, but eventually, you’ll be back on the pitch (or court, or dusty street) – just maybe with a slightly healthier respect for your Achilles’ limitations.


Remember, if you experience any of the signs of an Achilles rupture, don’t be a hero. Stop playing immediately and get yourself to the hospital. Early diagnosis and treatment are key to a full recovery and getting you back to your athletic pursuits (minus the superhero landing attempts, please).

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