Hwang Hee-chan (27, Wolverhampton), who was running at full speed in the 38th minute of the first half, suddenly wrapped his right hand around the back of his right thigh and knelt down on the spot. It was at the home game of the English Professional Football Premier League (EPL) against Liverpool FC on the 5th. The opponent’s defense was just playing next to him, and he collapsed alone without any physical force being applied. After complaining of pain while lying on the ground, he was not carried out after being examined by medical staff, but limped out of the ground on his own. The home fans gave him a standing ovation when he was substituted out, probably because he played well that day. Afterwards, Hwang Hee-chan walked cautiously off the ground and checked the condition of his legs before entering the locker room.
Hwang Hee-chan was receiving a lot of trust from Hulen Lopetegui, who was newly appointed in November last year. He was included in the starting list in all 6 league games played after his appointment, and on this day, he showed a sharp cross that led to the team’s first goal, the opponent’s own goal, but was hit with a major bad news. Hwang Hee-chan has a history of missing Uruguay and Ghana, the first and second rounds of the group stage, due to an injury to the same part at the Qatar World Cup last November.
The muscles and tendons at the back of the thigh are called the hamstring. Injury in this area is like a demon to all soccer players, not just Hwang Hee-chan. It is mainly used to stop running, so soccer players who have to stop quickly while sprinting in a large playground are usually injured. Although it does not require major surgery, it is terrifying that it can be injured alone no matter how much physical external harm is avoided. There are no precautions either. Recurrence occurs even if the thigh muscles are grown to the thickness of the log. There’s not much you can do to recover other than rest. That’s why some players say, “Leave the hamstring to chance.”
Because of a hamstring injury that is difficult to predict, Korean soccer has cried and laughed many times. Park Joo-young (38, retired), who was the goal scorer of the national team in 2010, injured his hamstring in his team about a month before the opening of the World Cup in South Africa. As a result, coaches and fans trembled with anxiety. Fortunately, he returned quickly and scored a goal in the third group match against Nigeria, leading Korea to advance to the round of 16 for the first time.
Ki Sung-yueng (34, FC Seoul) got off the national team due to a hamstring injury sustained during the match against the Philippines, the first leg of the 2019 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Asian Cup group stage. Ki Sung-yueng, who often felt hamstring pain, eventually chose to retire from the national team to reduce his muscle fatigue.
Hamstring injuries are also highly correlated with knee pain. When your knees hurt, you unconsciously put more pressure on your hamstrings. Ki Sung-yong suffered from a knee injury throughout his career. 바카라 Park Ji-seong (42, retired) also suffered from a hamstring injury towards the end of his career when his knee began to deteriorate. He injured his hamstring while working on his team’s schedule right after the 2011 Asian Cup, and was unable to play for his team for four weeks. The current national team captain Son Heung-min (31, Tottenham), who competes with speed, often injures his hamstring.
Hamstring injuries are feared not only in soccer but also in other sports. Many baseball players suffer from hamstrings in baseball, which requires sudden stoppage after running fast, such as outfield defense and run base play. Professional baseball player Jeong Geun-woo (41, retired), who was famous for stealing bases during his active career, also suffered from repeated hamstring injuries and his number of stolen bases decreased as he got older. Heo Hoon (28, Sangmu), who boasts brilliant breakthroughs in professional basketball, often complains of hamstring pain.