'My leg didn't work after one in a million knee injury' - Alderweireld

Toby Alderweireld is relieved to be back in action with Tottenham after a "one in a million" knee injury left the club's medical staff baffled as to how much football he was going to miss.

The Belgium international sustained damage to his knee in Spurs' 1-1 draw with West Brom on October 15 after colliding with team-mate Jan Vertonghen, but initial scans failed to reveal the extent of the problem, with ligament issues ruled out.

Eventually it was determined that a nerve in his knee had "shut down", rendering his leg almost useless and ultimately ruling him out for almost two months.

Due to the nature of nerve injuries, Spurs' medical staff were unable to hypothesise over the length of his absence, but now he is back on the pitch he insists he feels even better than before.

"It was an unusual injury, one in a million," he told Standard Sport. "It almost never happens in football.

"I got a hard knock on the nerve on the right side of my knee, so the nerve was shut down. All of my leg was shut down.

"When that happens, it takes a long time to 'restart' the nerve again, so it wasn't an injury you could put a time limit on. If you pull a hamstring, you will probably be out for four to six weeks. With a nerve, you don't know.

"My leg didn't work and I had to start all over again. The nature of the problem also meant that for a while, my foot didn't work properly, so I had do as much recovery work as possible without using my foot.

"I could walk, but not as I normally would, because it was difficult to lift up my foot. It was difficult for the medical staff to put a time on my recovery because we didn't know. It could have been two weeks, six weeks, maybe three months more.

"We just had to do everything we could to stimulate the nerve and ensure I could come back as quickly as possible. It was very frustrating, but I had to use the frustration to work as hard as possible and be ready to come back.

"I knew that when the nerve started working normally again, I had to be able to play as quickly as possible, and that was my motivation. I feel fit, even better than I did, and I'm hungry to help the team.

"It felt good to be back on the pitch against CSKA Moscow and Manchester United. I worked hard for it. Sometimes these things can happen but now I think I am 100 per cent."

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