Sven Botman’s realistic Newcastle United return timeline as Virgil van Dijk injury warning sent

Sven Botman could potentially be back in action for Newcastle United in just six months time – but the Magpies defender may not be back to his very best until the 2025/26 campaign at the earliest. That’s according to injury expert Ben Dinnery, who told Chronicle Live recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury can be a lengthy and gruelling process for a player.

Both Botman and central defensive partner, Jamaal Lascelles, were sidelined with the same knee issue in the space of a few weeks earlier this season, with both set to miss the start of next season. Eddie Howe has already admitted at least one new centre-back will be sought in the summer transfer market but his crocked Newcastle duo will be fighting to regain their fitness, and their spot at St James’ Park, as soon as feasibly possible.

But when may that be? For Emil Krafth, it took 15 months to return to the pitch following his own ACL issue, while Tino Livramento was ruled out for 392 days with the same problem, and a subsequent hamstring setback, while at Southampton.

However, Italian football legend Roberto Baggio, in the twilight of his career, only needed three months to return to the pitch, while Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk returned after nine months on the sidelines – although even some diehard Reds’ supporters might say the Dutchman has never matched his impressive pre-injury form at Anfield.

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That is the fear with fellow countryman Botman, who at 24 still has the best years of his career ahead of him. The former Lille star hardly put a foot wrong before his knee problems emerged and will need a good rehabilitation to ensure he regains his pre-injury levels in a black and white shirt.

“Reconstructive knee surgery is certainly not that career-ending or career-threatening injury as it once was back in the day,” Dinnery, speaking to Chronicle Live on behalf of Crypto Casino, said. “However, there seems to be a little bit of a myth that with ACL ruptures these days that we’re expecting players to return to being fully fit and and quickly hit those pre-injury levels – performance wise.

“That’s not always the case. There are absolutely no guarantees with that. It’s a very complex surgical procedure. There are a lot of influencing factors that can inhibit recovery and affect performances down the line.

“There is a small percentage of players who just never are able to each those levels again. When people want to know ‘how long is it going to take?’ Ultimately, what they really mean is: ‘when is that player going to be back to the player that we have seen before that injury?’

“It differs from player to player. The ballpark figure is nine months, give or take. I think the average return to play in the Premier League over the last maybe 15 or 16 years is around about 270 to 280 days.

“There are always exceptions to that. Somebody like Roberto Baggio, for example, returned to play within around about 89 days. But he was coming to the twilight years of his career. He didn’t have to necessarily project the longevity. He had been there and done it. It can go way beyond that. Virgil van Dijk is a great example. You will not necessarily see a return to performance levels.

Botman could be looking at something around six to eight, maybe six to nine months out. Lascelles, you would think, would probably be a little bit closer to that name to maybe 10 or 11 months. However, those who return to playing within that nine month period do come with an inherent increased risk of either re-injury or recurrence.”

Botman has recently been in his native Holland after undergoing surgery, while Newcastle captain Lascelles has been stepping up his injury recovery at the club’s Benton base.

View news Source: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/sven-botman-injury-newcastle-united-29067708

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