Andriy Yarmolenko: The inside story on his long journey back to fitness at West Ham

How altitude chambers, anti-gravity treadmills and dogged determination helped Andriy Yarmolenko recuperate from serious injury to turn into one of the Premier Leagues superstar players…
The Premier League is lighting and has been instrumental in the increase of West Ham to fifth at the table.
His manager, Manuel Pellegrini, described him as aspecial participant after he followed goals against Norwich and Manchester United with a classy finish against Bournemouth weekend. Hes carrying us occasionally, stated team-mate Ryan Fredericks, who performs behind him on the right flank.
But this shape has been fought for.
Because he tried to make a turn against Tottenham A little under 12 weeks ago, 29, Yarmolenko, suffered a ruptured Achilles. It is a rare but severe harm for a footballer. It was a brutal blow. Only a few months after having a high profile movement on to West Ham and also the Premier League he had been confronting on the sidelines.
Here, with the Assistance of Richard Collinge, Head of Medical at West Ham, we advise the story of Yarmolenkos long battle back into fitness…
I think you know straight away whenever someone goes down with an injury like this, that its a horrible one. The moment we have on the pitch we knew he was in a great deal of discomfort and the participant, in that scenario, is in a terrific deal of shock
While Yarmolenko clutched in his leg, the expression on the surface of his own team-mates underlined the seriousness of their accident, even before Collinge and his staff came at the scene.
You dont observe a ruptured Achilles that frequently, Collinge told Sky Sports. I have been in and about soccer for 20 decades now and I think Ive seen 2 in my career. They are rare but theyre big harms.
Aware of the gravity of their accident, the West Ham medical team knew they had to act quickly.
His wife had been in the match, so we brought her down to the living room and explained the significance of the harm. Andriy was disappointed and shocked. Hewished to earn a terrific first impression andd come to a new team from the Premier League. It was October and opportunity had been removed from him.
We put him in a protective boot, gave him crutches and sent him straight off to get an MRI scan, which confirmed our fears that hed ruptured his Achilles. With these ruptures you would like to work as possible. This was a Saturday and from first-thing Monday morning Andriy had undergone surgery in London to fix the tendon.
After the hours following the accident, Yarmolenko had to face up to the possibility of several months of recovery work.
After the operation, Yarmolenko right leg was stored in a boot which just came off stretching exercises. During this slow period, his morale was just as significant as his physical recovery.
Watching the other players venture out training each day was hard for me personally, explained Collinge. For him through that first 10 week period following the accident, we had been attempting to be really positive . Andriy is a personality anyway, so that helped, but the manager, the players and the training staff were good .
We have a player care staff in the club as well who ensured Andriy and his family knew we were here as a team and team to offer him every service possible, by talking to a psychologist to reaching out into team hes used formerly from the Ukraine. Theteam-behind-the-team ethic helped to get Andriy back to where he is now.
Collinge and the coaching staff were keen to maintain Yarmolenko as busy as possible to keep his ailment. There was fitness work for his upper body and to raise his heart rate and hydrotherapy to keep him in shape.
Yarmolenko was set a set of targets. The main thing I have learnt over the years is you give the player realistic mark of the way the rehab programme will look and put them goals within that period, explained Collinge. You need to ensure the participant purchases that.
Purchase into it he did. You will find extended hours at the Rush Green training foundation of West Ham and early starts but Yarmolenkos attitude remained steadfast. Even in the end of the year, if his team-mates had gone off on holiday, Yarmolenko came each day to keep his struggle back to fitnesscenter.
His treatment was wide-ranging and used modern technology. In an altitude chamber, Yarmolenko rode inactive bicycles, worked on a cross-trainer and ran on an anti-gravity treadmill.
Andriy has been doing work in a simulated environment of 3000m altitude, clarified Collinge. That worked his heart and lungs harder, hence when he came back into this pitch his fitness was not depleted too much. Hed do high-intensity work on the bike and, from December, we gradually increased the weight his own body was bearing as he ran on the treadmill
While massage and muscle stimulators assisted fortify muscles around the recovery Achilles , body fat checks and regular weigh-ins monitored the condition of Yarmolenko, meetings with the club nutritionist tweaked his diet.
After a morning at the elevation room, extra work with the strength and conditioning coaches followed in the afternoon and weekly rowing classes helped with flexibility.
Every player wants to return as speedily as possible and we want to ease that safely, explained Collinge. Altitude chambers, cryotherapy chambers, muscle stimulators, shockwave machines, you name it, there is a good deal of info and equipment on the market. Were always hoping to obtain these benefits to find the player back on the pitch faster and more powerful and in a better manner.
West Ham boss Pellegrini kept a close eye on this procedure. Yarmolenko may have been ruled out for the entire year however, much like injured players at the club, Pellegrini insisted still being included in staff meetings and made to feel a part of this group.
Mr Pellegrini likes to be aware of whats happening with all the players that are injured, explained Collinge. I meet with him every morning and talk through every player, whether they are healthy or not. The supervisor sees the players at the treatment room, hell come in and ask how they are getting on.
He keeps communication open with players that are injured because the player needs to feel part of this club and involved. Mr Pellegrini and his team are great at doing that. The gamers dont feel left out or transferred into the side since theyre hurt
Yarmolenkos job on the treadmill raised his power through December and also come January he was ready to get back to running on grass.
The strategy was slow, steady, methodical. Straight line running evolved into agility work and from April he managed to join his team-mates for a few non-contact sessions before, eventually, in May, touch training. But that was not the roads end.
When you put a player back into contact sessions, you have to build up his assurance, explained Collinge. Theres nothing like training to perform that. There is just so much we could perform in a rehab setting until you unleash the participant right into a full-contact session and he must be subjected to the pressures and strains which instruction exerts on that tendon.
Yarmolenko responded well and, had the Premier League season into June, he would have been back in action for West Ham. However, given the timing of his recovery, Pellegrini and the medical team agreed itd be best to go simple and ensure Yarmolenko was 100 percent for July 1, the beginning of pre-season.
That meant , with West Hams initial group heading away to their holidays after attaining a top-half ending in the group, Yarmolenko had to discover other people to train with.
We kept an U23s training group back later especially to help Andriy, so that he can do extra training together, said Collinge. He also went back to Ukraine and also did some coaching with the national team, even though we had been very much commanding that coaching to be sure that he did not do too much too soon.
With his own vacations reduced to just a brief break along with his loved ones, Yarmolenkos summer continued to focus on his rehab.
Theyre the sacrifices you need to make, said Collinge. People believe the season finishes mid-May, but surely for the medical staff, the sports science team we offer a service during the summer and Andriy was in for most of the summer.
When July 1 arrived Yarmolenko was ready for action — and now hes reaping the benefits for his hard work.
The rehabilitation shouldnt be taken lightly because it is a procedure which takes an awful lot of purchase, and its testament to Andriy that he came through it so well, explained Collinge. It requires a huge amount of psychological robustness and positivity to get back playing that level again.
The hard work still persists. We dont get complacent. The requirements of the Premier League are enormous nowadays, physically and psychologically, and keeps him when a player like Andriy is injured that they need to do work that helps.
But hes a fantastic professional. He has been a sponge over the past 12 months and taken on board the advice my team have given him and it is incredibly satisfying to watch him playing how he is.
Watch West Ham vs Crystal Palace live on Sky Sports Premier League from 5pm on Saturday; kick-off is 5.30pm.

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