5 talented Premier League midfielders who had their careers hampered by injuries
One of the most heart-wrenching sites in football is that of a player writhing around the floor in pain due to injury. It is a site which freezes the game, as players and fans of even opposition teams rally around the injured player, wishing, praying, hoping for him/her to get up and play on.
An even more pathetic scene is when said injury is responsible for a long layoff, and the worst of all comes when the player in question happens to be a very talented player crucial to his team's aspirations.
Injuries are a sad reality of the game, and nobody prays for it to happen to an opponent, except the vile minded Roy Keane, who confessed that he set out to purposely injure Alf-Inge Haaland.
No footballer ever truly recovers from an injury, more so if the injury was very serious, as the trauma associated with going under the knife for an operation remains, and the results is that when they return, a part of their body has been forever damaged, hence they play with more caution than before.
Some players have been forced to retire due to injury, as when a particular part of the body becomes a recurring target of tear, it is in the best interest of the player to call it quits and hang his/her boots.
This is a fear Manchester City fans would have, as Kevin De Bruyne who had missed most of the season so far got ruled out once again for 4-6 weeks after injuring his other knee in the League Cup clash with Fulham.
The Belgian is the premier midfielder in the EPL, and arguably the most creative player in all of Europe, hence City fans and indeed all lovers of football would be keen that this is not the start of something which would ruin the career of such a talented midfielder as was the case of so many others before him.
Here we profile five Premier League midfielders who had their careers blighted by injury.
#5 Michael Johnson
One of the brightest lights in the Manchester City academy in the middle of the last decade, Michael Johnson made the step up from Platt Lane (the youth ground) to the first team, making his debut for Manchester City in October 2006.
A highly technical midfielder, Johnson was highly rated for his box to box ability and knack for scoring goals, and it was widely expected that he would be the next big thing for England in midfield.
He truly broke out in the latter part of the season, making seven consecutive appearances in the league for the Cityzens until a hamstring injury ruled him out of the season.
This was the start of the injury problems for the young, talented player, as abdominal, hamstring and knee injuries limited his on-field contributions, and he would go on to play just 37 Premier League matches for Manchester City before he was officially released by the club in 2013 aged just 24.
The abrupt end to what was a once-promising career was lamented by a number of people associated with Johnson including former England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson who noted that everyone thought he would be the next big thing for England and former teammate Dietmar Hamann who compared him to German great Michael Ballack.