The inspiration behind this muse occurred this very Tuesday night, during a weekly Six-a-Side tournament, where I received my first ever dead leg. I had previously been under the impression that a dead leg was a minor, brief occurrence, commonly sustained by spending too much time sat on the toilet. It is this ignorance that led to confuse me when a Match of the Day commentator once said “so and so is on the bench after recovering from a dead leg in midweek”. How could a professional footballer take three days to recover from an injury that I sustained on an almost daily basis? The answer lies in the fact that a knee to the thigh does quite a bit more damage than losing track of time as you scroll unstoppably through funny pictures of dogs.
Upon this cold, bleak, Tuesday night the mist cleared, only for intense pain to descend and take its place. The worst part about the rapid impact of a knee to my thigh was that in the melee the defender did actually get the ball first. And so with nothing but a throw-in to show for the sacrifice of my physical health, I left the pitch with a heavy heart.
The BBC Sport description of a dead leg makes it seem quite brutal: “this causes a tearing of the muscle within the sheath that surrounds it”. This was one phrase I decided to recite when my housemates asked me what had happened, rather than simply tell them I had a dead leg and allow for the possibility that they, like myself, thought such things only occurred in the bathroom. Regardless, the BBC Sport description did its job and I was treated to dinner, thanking my housemates between groans and winces from the sofa as I draped my leg over the coffee table.
Relating this story to someone other than myself, as recently as last month Rudy Gestede underwent surgery on a dead leg after a collision with a Middlesbrough teammate, and towards the end of last season Mark Noble (of all people) missed out on a game with the same issue. All I’m saying is if a dead leg can keep the mighty Mark Noble on the sidelines then I think I’m well within my rights to want to be spoilt for a day or two.
As I steer this tale back towards myself one final time, I can confirm that at the time of finishing off this muse on a Thursday evening the pain has subsided to a fair 3 out of 10. In actual fact, had I been a professional footballer I would probably have about half an hour in me for a 3 o’clock kick-off on Saturday afternoon, thus for the first time in my life can forgive whoever it was that had to start on the bench all those years ago.
Also yes well done England on another World Cup qualification, I hope Russia provides more entertainment than a bloke talking about his sore leg.