Jess Naz: ACL injury will only make me stronger and better
Wed 29 January 2020, 17:30|Tottenham Hotpsur
Jess Naz has revealed she’s making positive progress on her road to recovery following her ACL injury – and has thanked her Spurs Women team-mates for helping and supporting her along the way.
A stand out performer in our promotion-winning campaign last season, Jess scored one of the most important goals in our history when she curled in an exquisite free-kick against Aston Villa as we gained the point required to secure promotion to the Barclays FA Women’s Super League (WSL).
Impressive displays for England followed for Jess in the 2019 Women’s Under-19 Euros, earning her a place in UEFA’s team of the tournament.
But as preparations for our WSL debut stepped up a notch in a pre-season tournament in Cadiz, Spain, Jess’ world turned upside down when she ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the final of the Ramón de Carranza Trophy against Athletic Club (Bilbao).
“I’m doing good and I feel that I’m progressing quite well,” the 19-year-old said. “I came off my crutches last week and the plan now is to keep building up my strength. Once I get the thumbs up from the surgeon, I can hopefully step things up in the gym and then fingers crossed in a month, I’ll be able to start straight line running. Sarah Budd (First Team sports therapist) didn’t think I’d progress this quickly, but I pushed myself in the gym before surgery so that helped me, and now my recovery is going better than anyone expected.”
Grateful for the support from the players and staff, the young forward commented: “I tried to isolate myself but realised that I needed the girls a lot. I’ll see them all at training and keep them all updated because they are constantly checking up on me which I appreciate a lot. Siri (Worm) spoke to me about setting small goals because it’s a long road to recovery so that helps keep you motivated. I clicked with Gemma (Davison) in pre-season straight away and she was helping me a lot on and off the field. But all the girls have helped me, they’re all role models and I look up to a lot of them. There’s been a few other players who have suffered the same injury in the league this season too - Ellie Brazil at Bristol is one and I reached out to her. I’ve also been coming into training every Tuesday and helping Celine Mcintyre (Development Squad player) in the gym as she is going through the same thing with her ACL injury.”
Although the first serious injury of her career has been a tough one to take, the England Under-19 international remains in positive spirits and knows that her time to shine in the WSL will come around before long.
“At the time of my injury, I felt I was doing so well,” Jess continued. “I was happy with my performance at the Euros and really looking forward to playing in the WSL. I’ve always dreamed about playing in the top league. The dream is on hold for now but my time will come soon. I’ve been watching loads of football clips of when I was playing which has been helping me and also I’ve been able to spend a lot of time with my family. I’ve been given some inspirational books, so I’ve been reading them and some quotes I’ll underline and look back on to keep me going. I know I’ve still got age on my side and this injury is only going to make me even stronger and better for the future.”