Pyunik's central defender Sergey Vakulenko had to leave training camps and go to Rome for the surgery. A Ukrainian football player tore the cruciate ligaments of his left knee during one of the training sessions. Sergey told the club's media team about the injury, the operation and the recovery process.
— Sergey, hello! A few days ago, you had a successful knee operation in one of the specialized clinics in Rome. How are you feeling?
— The first day was hard, but with injuries and operations it's always like that. Now I feel better and better every day. I work with rehabilitologists, physiotherapists, do procedures, and train the knee. Immediately after the operation, no one walks on crutches here, you need to try to walk right away, through pain and effort — this is the peculiarity and approach of the clinic.
I would like to thank all the management, coaching staff, teammates who supported, helped, suggested something before the operation, all the staff and fans. In particular, to the president of the club Artur Soghomonyan and the head coach Eghishe Melikyan. They organized my surgery and recovery in one of the best clinics in the world, where there are all the necessary conditions for subsequent rehabilitation. It is very important for a football player to feel and understand that you are needed. Thank them for that!
— After returning from vacation, you trained in the main group, but in the end you still had to have surgery. Why did you make such a decision?
After I was injured in training, I took a break before Slovan and didn't play many matches, and at the end of the championship I was recovering. I worked hard and pumped my muscles. Examinations showed that there were partially damaged cruciate ligaments. We thought that we would be able to recover without surgery, but after the vacation I joined the main group, I trained normally for two weeks, but when heavy and intensive training began, I completely tore my ligaments on one of them, and this was confirmed on an MRI.
— This is the most serious injury in your career, how hard is it psychologically to live without football?
— Yes, this is the most serious injury. So much so that an operation was required. It's okay, it's football — it happens here.
— What recovery time do doctors predict? Will we see you on the field this season?
— The recovery period is individual, for each football player it is different — from five to nine months, but I hope and believe that I will work as much as possible, train and return to the football field as soon as possible, because football has been my life since childhood. It will be hard, both psychologically and physically, through pain, but this only makes us stronger. I will recover and become better, and I will help the Pyunik a lot.