Incurable foot injury leaves Henderson resigned to playing through pain barrier
Jordan Henderson is resigned to playing in pain for most of his career because of an incurable foot injury.
Henderson has a heel condition known as plantar fasciitis, which deteriorated last April and has baffled specialists across the world.
After consultations with renowned surgeons and taking advice from the Royal Ballet about the problem, which afflicts dancers as well as sportsmen, Henderson accepts he will have to manage pain rather than rid himself of it.
The Liverpool captain's issues with his left heel were exacerbated when he broke a metatarsal on his right foot earlier in the season. "It was unbearable, every time I planted my foot it was like a burning, stabbing pain," he said. "Even lying in bed there was pain. It is much better now but there is always that question is it going to come back?
"At times you do get down. With my metatarsal I knew exactly what kind of timescale I'd be out for. But with my heel there isn't a timescale, there isn't really a cure. I've been pretty down about it because we couldn't find the answers. Now I'm at a point where I can function - where I can train and start playing some part in games. Hopefully it will continue to get better.
"It has made me realise what I have got. I haven't been nice to be around for the last three months. You appreciate things a lot more."
Henderson is aware that comments made in Alex Ferguson's book that his running style would cause injury problems will be seen as prophetic.
In fact, it is believed a change of boots last season was the catalyst, allied to a schedule which has prevented the 25-year-old having a summer break for 14 years.
Henderson may be ready to return but his manager Jurgen Klopp yesterday admitted he was not too optimistic about Philippe Coutinho's recovery from injury. He was expected to make his comeback against Newcastle but his recovery is taking longer than expected.
"I like optimism, really, but with Phil we were too optimistic," said the German. "Sometimes it happens like this and there is nothing to criticise - he has tried everything he can.
"He trained nearly normally but he doesn't feel comfortable and we have to take care of this because the muscle is a dangerous thing when you always feel it a bit.
"He is training and we will wait. I can wait every day, it is no problem if someone tells me, 'Now he is available', and next time he will play with us, no problem.
"Yesterday no-one gave me this sign so today we have to wait again." (© Daily Telegraph, London)