HAVING SUSTAINED A long-term injury on the eve of a potential senior debut for the Republic of Ireland, Chloe Mustaki was due some good fortune.
It came her way last Tuesday via a phone call from the Sports Surgery Clinic in Santry.
Near the end of Ireland’s final training session ahead of their 1-0 victory against Greece earlier this month, Mustaki ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament [ACL].
She was originally pencilled in for surgery on 10 April, but with the ongoing Covid-19 crisis likely to postpone the procedure, renowned surgeon Ray Moran was able to perform the knee reconstruction on Wednesday morning.
It may be 2021 by the time she’s able to play again, and current circumstances will complicate her rehabilitation, but Mustaki is relieved to have avoided a significant delay on the road to recovery.
“It would have been pretty heartbreaking otherwise because it would have pushed my recovery out for another four-to-six months, which is not what you want as an athlete,” she says. “I’m hugely grateful for that.”
Initially the injury setback appeared to arrive at a particularly inopportune time for Mustaki. Her career progression accelerated towards the end of 2019 when her first senior Ireland call-up was followed by a move to Charlton Athletic.
With the sporting world now experiencing an indefinite lockdown, she looks set to miss far less football than she anticipated at first. Nevertheless, current circumstances will create other difficulties.
“Obviously in an ideal world we wouldn’t be in the middle of a global pandemic, but it has worked out quite favourably for me in that sense,” the 24-year-old says.
“What will be problematic is the rehab over the next couple of months because all the gyms are closed. I’m not quite sure yet how it’s going to work with Santry in terms of physio and rehab over the next while. I have yet to confirm that with them so it’s not ideal in that regard.