When the word “surgery” is thrown out in the context of a professional athlete’s health, especially one who has already been battling injury for a significant period of time, it’s never a good thing and almost always frightening. So when Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Winks, who has been out with an injured groin for several weeks, was revealed to have gone under the knife today, the immediate supposition was that he’s done for the season.
It makes sense, right? Spurs only have four (or five!) games remaining in their season, and surgery is a big and scary word. It implies a significant recovery time, and the possibility that the player undergoing the procedure might not ever be the same afterwards. Surgery means a serious injury. It means cutting body parts open.
But with Winksy, that might not be the case after all. First, there was this tweet on Monday from Winks himself:
Im absolutely gutted that I’ve needed to have surgery at such a vital point in our season. We’ve tried everything to avoid this action but I’m very hopeful that this is not the end of the season for me yet in what has been a great year for the team and me personally #COYS— Harry Winks (@HarryWinks) April 29, 2019
Hearing an athlete who just went under the knife say “I’m very hopeful that this is not the end of the season for me yet” sounds like platitudes, but it also makes one’s eyes widen a bit. Could it be that maybe this procedure isn’t as serious as what it sounded?
Maybe! Journalists have been digging into Winksy’s comments a bit as well and some seem to be agreeing with the idea. Take this tweet from Jack Pitt-Brooke:
Harry Winks’ surgery is a repair to the sheath that covers a muscle in the hip/groin area, not the muscle itself. A minor procedure so he’s still hopeful he can return in June.— Jack Pitt-Brooke (@JackPittBrooke) April 29, 2019
Interesting! In our writer’s chat, Joel Wortheimer did some digging around and found a couple of medical articles that might suggest that Winks not only didn’t undergo the SERIOUS and SCARY kind of surgery, but that the prognosis of a return for a hypothetical Champions League final (like with Harry Kane) is not out of the question.
If Winksy’s injury is something as routine as, for example, a sports hernia, then not only are there minimally invasive techniques to fix the problem, but also the recuperation time can be significantly lower — as little as 3-4 weeks. That’s well within the range of what Winksy was hinting at when he tweeted above. If that is the case, then with luck (and a little horse placenta) there may be every chance that Winks could be fit in time to play in the Champions League final at the Wanda on June 1.
I’m not a doctor. None of us at Carty Free are, nor would I presume to diagnose Winksy’s injury from the comfort of my laptop 7500 miles away from London. This is not a statement of fact or even supposition: it’s grasping at straws and taking an extremely positive view on things. This could all be disastrously off the mark.
However, Winksy’s own tweet, combined with Pitt-Brooke’s comments, suggest that there’s a chance, even if it’s a small one, that Winks may be out for significantly less time than we were initially led to believe. After all, if Winks himself thinks so, who are we to disagree?
I don’t know if rushing him back from a surgical procedure for an important football match is wise. In fact, it’s probably better if he just rests up and starts the new season fresh and 100% healthy. But Spurs could probably use as many hands back on deck as possible, as soon as they can kick a ball. And wouldn’t it be nice, if Spurs make it to the Champions League final, quite possibly the biggest match in the club’s history, if they had at least the option of playing one of Tottenham’s best central midfielders in that match?
That sounds like a story I’d like to read.