WORDS OF SPARAGNA #1 | Red Star Football Club

180123at 6:40 p.m.

Discover the first part of Stéphane Sparagna’s interview.


Central defender of Red Star FC, Stéphane Sparagna has been absent from the field since his injury on March 23 and his rupture of the cruciate ligaments. Discover in the first part of his interview the management of his injury and the details of his work to return to competition.

After several months of rehabilitation following your rupture of the cruciate ligaments, you recently made your return to training. What was your first reaction to the announcement of the verdict of your injury?

Stephane Sparagna: What’s amazing is that as soon as it happened to me on the pitch, I said to myself, it’s the crusader who farted saw the feeling of rupture that I had. When I came home with the physio and we did the tests, the knee was reacting well, so there was some hope. Afterwards, when I went to see the ” document “, in one look I understood that I had ten months of rehabilitation before considering a resumption of competition. It is sure that when you are told that, it is difficult. But I’ve had injuries before. I know how to handle those moments and I know what to expect in that moment. I said to myself ” OK, it’s done, it’s done “. I immediately projected myself on the operation, the physio phase, the re-athletics and the resumption of the field.

You were accompanied throughout your injury by the club, the staff and the group, but how do we manage these long absences?

It’s not easy because in the end, despite this accompaniment which is an important support, you find yourself alone in the face of the injury since there is no one who can work in your place. It’s always difficult to go to appointments every morning, to be with colleagues and when they go to the field, you go to the physio room to do compex (electrostimulator device to stimulate the muscles, here of the quadriceps) or cold. These are difficult times, but it builds character and that’s when you see the mentality you can have. Because in the end, these are trials which are part of the life of a footballer and which must be overcome. Sometimes it’s times when you doubt, when you want to stop everything because you’re tired of being on a physio table and not touching the ball. But it’s the job that wants it and you have to deal with it.

How were the first days after the operation?

It went quickly. I injured myself and the next day I returned to Marseille to quickly do the exams and see the surgeon. I was really well surrounded and well supported by the staff, the players as well as by the club who called me to take news, ask me where things were, the reports, etc… I didn’t mind. everything felt alone during the first days and even during rehabilitation. I have always been supported and I have always had the support of the club, the staff, the coach and the players. It’s true that it helps in these moments to feel supported and not just to feel neglected.

You had a long phase of rehabilitation. Can you describe the protocol you have followed in recent months?

I got injured on Thursday March 23. I had surgery on April 21. Following the operation, I spent three or four days at home. For 14 days, there are the nurses who went to the house for injections to avoid the risk of phlebitis, splint, crutch, compression bandage, compression socks, etc. Afterwards, at the physiotherapist, it starts with kinetech to regain flexion and extension as quickly as possible to avoid flexures. (loss of part of the extension) for example. It lasted a good month I think. During this time, we go through phases of light remusculation with the compex to regain the sensations of the muscles and their contraction. I had a very swollen knee and it was quite difficult to contract, to really feel the muscle. There are all these phases with cryotherapy, a lot of cold, a lot of compression boots to drain the edema to make it go away as quickly as possible in order to de-swell the knee. Then, little by little, we move on to a process of resuming walking. Next come the very light squat and bending exercises to build a crescendo of remusculation. A slight resumption of the race follows. Me, I had the alterG which is a running machine on which you can calculate the weight of the body supported. I started at 50% of my weight and went up to 90%. Once this level was validated, I moved on to the mat. I then switched to aerobic, intermittent running exercises. It’s very progressive, the crosses, it’s especially long. It’s not the most difficult injury I’ve had to deal with in my life, but it’s the longest.

Today, can we say that you are still in rehabilitation?

We are no longer in the re-athleticization phase or even recovery. Everything about the reduction has been done before. I spent three weeks in Capbreton where I accentuated the re-athleticization phase by really looking for the maximum of my abilities. We worked on muscle strengthening and cardio then field work with changes of direction. When we resumed on December 27, we took stock with the doctor. We started with a protocol aimed at reaching maximum speeds on sprints with GPS, then we integrated exercises with the ball alongside the rest of the group, first without contact then with. The objective is to arrive as quickly as possible on complete training sessions and without problems to be selectable for the championship in order to help the team.

Photo credit : @benlorph



WORDS OF SPARAGNA #1 | Red Star Football Club