England experienced rapturous delight when Daniel Sturridge connected with a beautiful Wayne Rooney cross to equalize two minutes after Claudio Marchisio opened the scoring for Italy on Saturday. And it was in that celebration that England physiotherapist Gary Lewin, of all people, suffered an injury.
The 50-year-old England and Arsenal physio was quickly swarmed by medical personnel and fellow England staff, attracting the attention of TV cameras. Lewin was then carried off on a stretcher. At halftime, the team's official Twitter account confirmed that Lewin was hurt in the goal celebration and that he dislocated his ankle. England went on to lose 2-1.
According to the Guardian's Daniel Taylor, England manager Roy Hodgson said after the match that Lewin "jumped up celebrating the goal and landed on a water bottle." And the Telegraph's Henry Winter adds that Lewin also suffered a fracture to go with the dislocation, so he will head back to England, letting second-choice physio Steve Kemp take over.
This certainly has to be one of the strangest injuries in World Cup history, but injuries to members of staff during major tournaments have become something of a trend in recent years for England. During a pre-match warm-up at Euro 2012, goalkeeping coach Ray Clemence had to be carried off the pitch and sent home with a torn achilles tendon and last week assistant manager Ray Lewington had to undergo emergency knee surgery.
Before the World Cup began, star players were getting injured left and right. Now that the tournament has begun, it's the physios going down. Football can be weird.
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- Gary Lewin