‘Blessing in disguise’: How Vukovic used COVID-19 as a positive
Socceroos goalkeeper Danny Vukovic has revealed the extended break from competitive football caused by COVID-19 was crucial in aiding his recovery from a debilitating achilles injury.
Vukovic returned to training for Genk in March before his first practice match in over eight months was cancelled after COVID-19 restrictions took effect.
Despite his disappointment at another period away from football, Vukovic described to Socceroos.com.au how it aided his comeback.
“I probably would’ve been playing a lot sooner than now,” said Vukovic.
“But COVID-19 has been a blessing in disguise as I’m feeling stronger and sharper now”.
The last four months enabled full mobility to return to Vukovic’s ankle joint and additional time to re-strengthen the tendons in his achilles.
After setting himself personal fitness goals during lockdown, the 35-year-old maintains he is now feeling as good as ever.
“Initially I wasn’t feeling one hundred percent with an uncomfortable feeling in my ankle,” described Vukovic.
“But now the pain has subsided to almost zero".
It has been a long time on the sidelines for the former Sydney FC, Perth Glory and Mariners man who struggled to deal with his first taste of long-term injury.
Vukovic credited his family as being a main source of motivation for his return after almost twelve months passing since his last match.
“They just keep driving me to get back out there,” he explained.
“Football has always been a constant in my life, so it was difficult to come to terms with this lay-off."
The three-time Socceroo has been a revelation in Belgium over the past three years, playing a pivotal role in Genk's league triumph in 2018-19.
It therefore comes as no surprise that the club were extremely supportive in getting Vukovic back to full fitness during lockdown.
An appreciative Vukovic is now desperate to get back on the pitch for both club and country.
“The club was great and set up a custom home gym for me,” described Vukovic.
“Performing on the pitch is my next goal whether it be here or for the national team.”