Glasgow Rangers defender Filip Helander has admitted that he has been taking painkillers for the last eight years as he has played through injury.
The Lowdown: Helander preparing for Euros
He is now preparing for the European Championship with Sweden after a long season at Ibrox.
The 28-year-old struggled with an injury during the 2019/20 campaign, missing 24 games for the Gers due to a foot issue (Transfermarkt).
The Latest: Helander reveals painkillers issue
Speaking on a Swedish podcast prior to Euro 2020, Helander revealed how often he uses painkillers. He said (via Glasgow Live):
“When you hurt yourself, you do not know how bad it will be, but I felt optimistic pretty quickly.
“Now I’m actually not worried at all. The physio feels things have gone much better in recent weeks, I have been able to do a lot. I’m very optimistic I’ll make it.
“We have had ongoing communication with the coaching staff about my progress and of course, they have had contact with Rangers as well.
“It’s the worst thing for a player to be injured. You go to training every day where it feels like you are not getting anywhere. You miss match after match.
“Personally, I have had a lot of injuries. Minor injuries that have taken four to six weeks. It is clearly something you want to get rid of. But all bodies are different. You have to accept it somewhere.
“Very often I have to push myself to play through an injury. I have basically taken tablets before most matches since I was 20.
“Painkillers, although in Italy there were syringes and so on.
“You have to take a risk somewhere and I want to play. You have to trust that it will not make it worse.
“I have no idea if I will have to take them before the Euros. The hope is that I will be so much better that it will not be needed.
“I have been injured before and it has gone well when I came back from it. But you do miss the match tempo when you are out.”
The Verdict: Not good
The £3.15m-valued defender (Transfermarkt) has enjoyed a good spell with the Gers since making the move to Ibrox from Bologna two years ago. Although he has managed just 29 Premiership appearances, he is still to taste defeat in that competition. All in all, he has featured 49 times for Rangers in all competitions.
Should Helander play at the Euros?
However, this is hardly good news. This suggests that Helander has been playing through injury for most of his career. At the moment, he is still in his 20s, but taking so many painkillers could well catch up with him. It is something he might want to reconsider if he would like to extend his career.
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