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Achilles surgery and Karlsson

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Old
02-14-2013, 09:09 AM
  #1
Whiskeypete
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Achilles surgery and Karlsson

I could have added this to the 'around the league' thread, but i know this will get buried and lost. So creating a thread for ease of access.

Karlsson is facing a long road back. Will he be the same skater, the same player - time will tell.

This is from personal experience. Yes another WPete injury story.

Many will ask and wonder what Karlsson's future holds, so drawing on my experience here is my take. What his future holds.

This is what and where I am after tearing my left achilles.

September 2011 I tore the achilles while playing football. To old, not warmed up, don't work out enough, but yeah it's a good idea to go play some two hand touch after a few beers. 45 is to old to play football gents. How many non-kickers do you see still playing? That's right - ZERO. Stay on the sidelines is my advice.

I had been playing for 30-45 minutes, so by then I was warmed and stretched out. At the snap of the ball, while playing CB I slightly pivot to get inside and take away the slant pass to the guy I'm covering. I barely moved and I hear a loud POP. The amount of pain was brutal and tore through me. I must have turned white, grey, yellow because the guy I was covering looked at me in horror. He knew something went terribly wrong.

At that point I didn't know what it was or how severe it was. All I know is it was bad. I've busted bones, torn up both knees and all sorts of other injuries. Nothing was even close to this.

Since I could walk but with huge amounts of pain, I figured I hadn't done the worse thing possible. Tear my achilles. You know the old saying, "you won't walk if you tear your achilles". So i figured I had just severely sprained my ankle, maybe stretched or torn some ligaments in the joint. I go for days resting it and letting the swelling subside. I start to walk on it but with a severe limp. Return to work, continue traveling for work.

I even catch the Kings game in Denver October 2011 and walk around all of Pepsi Center checking it out. I tried to get back on the ice to coach about 3-4 weeks after the initial injury. That lasted all of about 3 seconds, when I couldn't put any weight on the left foot alone.

I still am going with the "you won't walk if you tear your achilles".

One day while on the way home from work I stop to get gas. While the pump is running I prop my foot on the edge of the curb platform the pumps are built on and put my weight on the foot. You know, just leaning on it like anyone does everyday. This is where I think I completely tore the tendon. While having all my weight on the foot, the tendon likely partially torn - I lose it and almost fall face first into the pump.

It was right there that I think I tore what ever was still attached. This is approx 5 weeks after the initial injury. At this point I could take three fingers (index, middle, ring) and lay them on the back of the leg and essentially feel the gap. The tear was that wide.

I finally go see a doctor. The GP's initial diagnosis is a full tear of the achilles. Next step is the sports orthopedic surgeon. Confirmation from the specialist, full tear 2-3" of the tendon. The upper portion was balled up behind the calf muscle. He hoped there was enough material to work with that was still attached to the heel.

Surgery is scheduled immediately for a few days later. There is a six-week window they want to do this surgery within and I was just over it by days. This window gives them and the patient the best chance of success and recovery. It comes down to the tissue itself and being able to work with it.

Surgery goes well, but a bit longer than usual. They had to cut further up the leg to 'find' the top part of the tendon behind the calf. This added on to the surgery time.

Next step is two weeks in a soft cast, leg up and no movement. Only movement is to the bed or the bathroom. Lots of rest and lots of advil. They prescribed Narco (iirc the name), but I only took two of them the entire post-op.

After two weeks I return for the first f/u appt. The soft cast is removed and I get put into a boot. The wife about heaves at the sight of my leg. 36 stitches up the back and to many shades of yellow, purple and reddish hues to count. I've got some pics of it.

The boot has angled settings that allow them adjust the angle and start to flex the tendon out slowly. At first the foot is extended down. This puts the least amount of flex/stress on the tendon. Every two weeks this is changed (iirc 2-degrees at a time) and the foot is slowly flexed to a flatter position. When you bend your foot upwards, this puts the most stress on the joint, ligaments and tendons.

Stitches were removed at the four week mark. As you progress through the 3-4 stages of the boot, I also started weaning off the crutches. At first it was both crutches, then one, then one sometimes and finally no crutch but walking on the boot.

The use of the boot allows for the stress, flex and strength to slowly be put back into use.

After the boot comes off then begins the rehab process. I went through 3-months of rehab where they slowly again work through stretching, weight work, etc. When you start it about increasing flexibility in the joint. Riding the bike, stress band work and massaging the tissue to reduce the inflammation and scarring (inside and out).

All this time I still didn't have clearance for any type of activity beyond just walking. Anything I did during rehab was to occur just there. I wasn't to ride a bike at home. I could do some stress band work and that was it.

Finally at the 6-month mark is when I was given the green light to return to other activities. Not at 100%, but to slowly work back into them. Not that I could because the amount of strength and flexibility at that point were gone.

We had a lot of open ice time during this time at the rink (late spring into summer), so we use it for pick up. It was almost like learning to skate all over. At this point it is still challenging at times. I definitely don't feel the same on my left foot (both edges) on tight turns and stops. I still haven't done what I consider pre-injury top speed, with a dead stop on the foot. I slowly keep working up to it, there's no need to push it.

Where Karlsson comes out is anyone's guess. He has many advantages though in his favor. If it's a laceration, its a partial cut/tear. It isn't fully torn like mine was. He is much younger and in hella better shape than I am. His access to rehab and the amount of time will be far greater than what I had. Surgeons help, but I had a very good one that is renowned for his work so I don't see much there. He will also have more time to work his skating back up. I only get on the ice now one or two days now, I'm sure he can get on the OTT practice facility anytime he really wants to.

To this day, 15-months after the surgery, it still isn't what it was pre-injury. It changes everyday - range of motion, strength, tweaks of pain, general soreness, etc. They say FULL recovery is usually 2-3 years after surgery. At this point I would have to agree with that statement. I am certain Karlsson will experience the same.

Was Cooke to blame? No, that play happens hundreds of times a night in all the games. Guys working the puck, boards and each other with their feet. It was a very unfortunate accident that thank goodness doesn't happen that often.

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02-14-2013, 10:01 AM
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tigermask48
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Really sucks for the Sens and for Karlsson. Glad you put something here about it since I went to the main board thread and it was nothing but people burying Cooke for doing it intentionally... Basically for no other reason than it was Cooke.

Initial reports I've heard said it was just a laceration and didn't sound like much tearing so hopefully he makes it back to close to 100%.

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02-14-2013, 11:17 AM
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Buddy The Elf
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Justin Williams tore his Achilles the year he joined the Kings. He only missed about 6 months so I guess it depends on the severity and healing ability of the player. For as much as JW has been hurt throughout his career, he does seem to heal quickly.

Quote:
2011/04/14 Missed the last 9 games of the regular season and 0 playoff games.
2011/03/24 Dislocated right shoulder, sidelined indefinitely.
2011/02/28 Signed by the Los Angeles Kings to a four-year contract extension.
2010/03/12 Missed 28 games (broken right leg).
2009/12/27 Broken right leg, sidelined indefinitely.
2009/11/02 Missed 5 games (lower body injury).
2009/10/24 Lower body injury, day-to-day.
2009/10/22 Lower body injury, day-to-day.
2009/03/20 Missed 15 games (broken hand).
2009/03/04 Acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes.
2009/02/16 Broken hand, sidelined indefinitely.
2008/12/04 Missed 25 games (achilles tendon).
2008/09/17 Achilles' tendon, sidelined indefinitely.

2008/04/05 Missed the last 2 games of the regular season (back injury).
2008/04/02 Back injury, day-to-day.
2008/04/01 Missed 43 games (torn ACL).
2007/12/21 Torn ACL, remainder of the regular season.
2006/06/30 Re-signed by the Carolina Hurricanes.
2005/10/04 Shoulder injury, day-to-day.
2005/08/10 Re-signed as a restricted free agent by the Carolina Hurricanes to a one-year contract.
2004/09/21 NHL Lockout: Signed with the Lulea HF of the Elitserien (Sweden).
2004/07/29 Re-signed by the Carolina Hurricanes to a one-year contract.
2004/03/27 Missed 1 game (bruised ankle).
2004/03/25 Bruised ankle, day-to-day.
2004/02/21 Missed 3 games (broken left wrist).
2004/02/13 Broken left wrist, sidelined indefinitely.
2004/01/20 Acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers.
2003/07/30 Re-signed by the Philadelphia Flyers to a one-year contract.
2003/04/06 Missed 36 games (sprained left knee).
2003/04/04 Sprained left knee, day-to-day.
2003/01/20 Sprained left knee, remainder of the regular season.
2003/01/18 Sprained left knee, left Saturday's game.
2002/11/27 Missed 5 games (strained left shoulder).
2002/11/15 Strained left shoulder, early December.
2001/12/16 Missed 3 games (sprained right shoulder).
2001/12/10 Sprained right shoulder, day-to-day.
2001/03/19 Missed 12 games (broken finger).
2001/02/22 Broken finger, late March.

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Old
02-14-2013, 12:53 PM
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Whiskeypete
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a lot of variables for every person when it happens. no way to say with certainty how long it will take to return, or the long-term effects

A Meszaros (torn) - 9 months (Aug '12) from the article I'm reading. he has just recently returned iirc.

T Selanne partial tear (~80% tear), 8 months after surgery to return. injury happened in January

S Salo (torn) , 6 months after surgery returned, happened in July, missed first four months of season

if Karlsson's isn't completely torn i would speculate he will be ready for training camp. these guys are highly conditioned with access to top rate medical and rehab to help.

different player, different sport, different athlete. but if AP could return to the Vikings, rush for over 2000 yds and win the MVP all within a year of blowing out his MCL and ACL.....then anything is possible

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02-14-2013, 01:02 PM
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Whiskeypete
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have had a few asking for pics. the only ones i took. if your queezy......

DONT LOOK

























first one is two weeks after surgery and the removal of the soft cast and going to the boot




second pic is around 4-6 weeks and the stitches to be removed


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02-14-2013, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiskeypete View Post

different player, different sport, different athlete. but if AP could return to the Vikings, rush for over 2000 yds and win the MVP all within a year of blowing out his MCL and ACL.....then anything is possible
Steroids.

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02-14-2013, 01:34 PM
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Vic Vinegar
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Steroids.
Steroids do not repair knee injuries.

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02-14-2013, 02:00 PM
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Ron
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Not sure if Kevlar stockings would have made much of a difference, but I bet he starts wearing them from now on.

As many in the league have apparently commented on so far.

(P.S. I wore Kevlar "arm" stockings as a law enforcement officer during certain enforcement activities, which are supposed to prevent knife slashings...they do work pretty well. Never got slashed myself, nor did anyone on the job, but got to see live demonstrations...so they do work. Not sure at full speed with an ice skate, just no guarantees in life...)

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02-14-2013, 02:01 PM
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123slam
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Originally Posted by DimMak View Post
Steroids do not repair knee injuries.
Explain Ray Lewis' recovery.. Anyway, OT, but check out this article by Bill Simmons http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/...k-ped-question

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02-14-2013, 02:05 PM
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Whiskeypete
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i may have to re-consider them honestly. working with kids as they are learning, sometimes i feel like im in a windmill. sticks, legs, arms are flying around. ive always been more concerned with sticks to the mouth, but one wrong skate will definitely change your life.

the debate will be another one i am sure down the line. the same as helmets were back in the 80s to 90s. the same as shields are in debate now. it doesn't mean the players will use them, since they are given the choice by the PA. face it we are humans, we don't make the smartest decisions all the time.

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02-14-2013, 02:19 PM
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The Tikkanen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron View Post
Not sure if Kevlar stockings would have made much of a difference, but I bet he starts wearing them from now on.

As many in the league have apparently commented on so far.

(P.S. I wore Kevlar "arm" stockings as a law enforcement officer during certain enforcement activities, which are supposed to prevent knife slashings...they do work pretty well. Never got slashed myself, nor did anyone on the job, but got to see live demonstrations...so they do work. Not sure at full speed with an ice skate, just no guarantees in life...)
That's my main question. I play ice hockey and I wear kevlar skate socks, they aren't expensive, they aren't uncomfortable, I've never seen somebody get sliced but I wear them because the technology is available to me so why not use it? From what I know they prevent the slicing motion, I don't know if somebody steps down on you if it will prevent what happened to Karlsson. If he wasn't wearing kevlar skate socks and they would have prevented this cut I really don't understand why they aren't mandatory. And if you play rec league hockey and don't wear kevlar socks I think you should have your head checked.

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02-14-2013, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by 123slam View Post
Steroids.
I would guess growth hormone, not steroids. If anybody out there think AP is and always has been all natural from day one they are in denial about the rampant use of PED's in sports.

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02-14-2013, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tikkanen View Post
That's my main question. I play ice hockey and I wear kevlar skate socks, they aren't expensive, they aren't uncomfortable, I've never seen somebody get sliced but I wear them because the technology is available to me so why not use it? From what I know they prevent the slicing motion, I don't know if somebody steps down on you if it will prevent what happened to Karlsson. If he wasn't wearing kevlar skate socks and they would have prevented this cut I really don't understand why they aren't mandatory. And if you play rec league hockey and don't wear kevlar socks I think you should have your head checked.
the material will help more when it comes to any kind of contact that is more in line with a 'brushed' by the blade, or a glancing kind of contact. the kevlar will essentially not allow the blade to dig in and cut.

think of all the knicks and cuts in your hockey socks covering your shin pads. the occasional cut in a jersey or your breezers, from being down on the ice. it is this type of contact the kevlar socks will help protect you from.

in a situation that involves a lot of direct force and contact it wont be enough. like last night a foot into the back of your leg will likely be more than the fabric can accomodate. if anything it would likely cause the foot to slide down the leg a bit, before 'biting' in and cutting the leg.

the kevlar neck protectors are now mandated by USA Hockey for kids to wear full time. many people aren't aware of this and most kids aren't playing with them.

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02-14-2013, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tikkanen View Post
That's my main question. I play ice hockey and I wear kevlar skate socks, they aren't expensive, they aren't uncomfortable, I've never seen somebody get sliced but I wear them because the technology is available to me so why not use it? From what I know they prevent the slicing motion, I don't know if somebody steps down on you if it will prevent what happened to Karlsson. If he wasn't wearing kevlar skate socks and they would have prevented this cut I really don't understand why they aren't mandatory. And if you play rec league hockey and don't wear kevlar socks I think you should have your head checked.
You are right...they are effective against slicing motions but not stabbing motions...so if someone wanted to stab my arm directly it would go right through Kevlar.

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02-14-2013, 03:35 PM
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Well, here is a demonstration with various knives on a Kevlar vest, so obviously since I've been retired a few years advancements have been made.

Now, this Kevlar is much thicker than a stocking would be, but nevertheless this is very impressive. The Kevlar we wore when I was an LEO would never have stopped these knife attacks (but they would stop regular bullet rounds, go figure).


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02-14-2013, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron View Post
Well, here is a demonstration with various knives on a Kevlar vest, so obviously since I've been retired a few years advancements have been made.

Now, this Kevlar is much thicker than a stocking would be, but nevertheless this is very impressive. The Kevlar we wore when I was an LEO would never have stopped these knife attacks (but they would stop regular bullet rounds, go figure).

They also make kevlar hockey socks, so if you were to wear a skate sock and a hockey sock that's quite a bit of protection.

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02-14-2013, 09:55 PM
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Wasn't Karlssons Ach *severed* or partly so?

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02-14-2013, 10:32 PM
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Whiskeypete
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Originally Posted by Tonellisghost View Post
Wasn't Karlssons Ach *severed* or partly so?
they say lacerated. to me this means cut and not completely separated (or torn), but im not a doctor. if this is the case then his prognosis is better, because there is still tissue connected. it's when there is full separation that you begin to have long term problems with range of motion, stiffness and loss of strength

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02-14-2013, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Whiskeypete View Post
they say lacerated. to me this means cut and not completely separated (or torn), but im not a doctor. if this is the case then his prognosis is better, because there is still tissue connected. it's when there is full separation that you begin to have long term problems with range of motion, stiffness and loss of strength
That is what i was thinking too. There seems to be some confusion though.

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02-15-2013, 01:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron View Post
Well, here is a demonstration with various knives on a Kevlar vest, so obviously since I've been retired a few years advancements have been made.

Now, this Kevlar is much thicker than a stocking would be, but nevertheless this is very impressive. The Kevlar we wore when I was an LEO would never have stopped these knife attacks (but they would stop regular bullet rounds, go figure).

I was just waiting to see if this guy would chop of a finger or two.

BTW your age is a huge factor in recovery time and total healing. The older you are the more motion is lost and the further away you will get from your former you. Strange wording but I didn't know how to put it.

That is a nasty length of stitching, I'm not a doctor but was that really necassary. I mean when I got my acl fixed they took some "spareparts" from my tigh and they made one little hole at my knee and from there went up my tigh (a good distance) to take the "part" they needed. It could be different when you are going the other way perhaps, meaning inserting instead of taking I guess.

Either way hope you will get better, it stinks to loose mobility and you have to step back on certain actions.

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02-15-2013, 08:17 AM
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That is a nasty length of stitching, I'm not a doctor but was that really necassary. I mean when I got my acl fixed they took some "spareparts" from my tigh and they made one little hole at my knee and from there went up my tigh (a good distance) to take the "part" they needed. It could be different when you are going the other way perhaps, meaning inserting instead of taking I guess.

Either way hope you will get better, it stinks to loose mobility and you have to step back on certain actions.
they had to go fishing for the upper part of the tendon, back up behind the calf muscle. when it completely tears it will retract back up behind the calf. he said the incision is 1-2" more than normal

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02-15-2013, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Whiskeypete View Post
they had to go fishing for the upper part of the tendon, back up behind the calf muscle. when it completely tears it will retract back up behind the calf. he said the incision is 1-2" more than normal
A lot of people don't realize when you completely sever the achilles it shoots up your leg and has to be pulled back down. Looks nasty, I'd rather spend $20 and play hockey in safety and I think the NHL needs to mandate these kevlar socks. Hockey is still that caveman-like sport where men object to safety because they claim they are more comfortable in the less safe option.

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02-15-2013, 10:24 AM
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Buddy The Elf
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Steroids do not repair knee injuries.
Deer antler spray, duh!

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02-15-2013, 11:36 AM
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Senators' fans have a ridiculously intense, somewhat creepy attachment to Karlsson. There's no reasoning with them.

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02-15-2013, 12:49 PM
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I could have added this to the 'around the league' thread, but i know this will get buried and lost. So creating a thread for ease of access.

Karlsson is facing a long road back. Will he be the same skater, the same player - time will tell.

This is from personal experience. Yes another WPete injury story.

Many will ask and wonder what Karlsson's future holds, so drawing on my experience here is my take. What his future holds.

This is what and where I am after tearing my left achilles.

September 2011 I tore the achilles while playing football....................
I never should have read this post yesterday.

You and I seem to be about the same age. During every squat, jump, lunge, twist, and stretch during my workout this morning I thought “please don’t tear my Achilles tendon on this move.” Did this through my whole routine. It was a long workout thinking about Achilles every time I moved my foot.

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