Andriy Yarmolenko: The inside story on his long journey back to fitness at West Ham

How elevation chambers, anti-gravity treadmills and dogged determination helped Andriy Yarmolenko recover from serious harm to turn into one of their Premier Leagues superstar players…
Andriy Yarmolenko is light the Premier League and continues to be instrumental in the increase of West Ham to fifth in the table.
His manager, Manuel Pellegrini, described him as aspecial participant afterwards he followed targets against Norwich and Manchester United with a refined finish against Bournemouth last weekend. He is carrying us at times, said team-mate Ryan Fredericks, who performs behind him to the perfect flank.
But this shape has been hard fought .
Because he tried to earn a turn from Tottenham A little under 12 weeks Yarmolenko, 29, suffered a ruptured Achilles. Its a harm for a footballer. That it was a cruel blow. A couple of weeks after a high profile proceed on to the Premier League and West Ham that he faced months on the sidelines.
Here, with the help of Richard Collinge, Head of Medical at West Hamwe tell the story of Yarmolenkos long struggle back to fitness…
I believe you know right away whenever someone goes down with an injury like that, that it is a nasty one. Whenever we have to the pitch we understood he had been in a lot of distress and the player, in that situation, is at a excellent deal of shock
While Yarmolenko clutched at his leg, the expression on the face of his own team-mates underlined the seriousness of their accident before Collinge and his staff came at the scene.
You do not find a ruptured Achilles that often, Collinge told Sky Sports. Ive been in and around soccer for 20 decades now and I believe Ive seen two in my career. They are rare but they are big harms.
Aware of the gravity of their accident, the West Ham medical team knew they had to act fast.
His wife had been in the match, so we introduced her down to the medical area and explained the significance of the harm. Andriy was disappointed and shocked. Hewanted to earn a fantastic first impression andd come to another team in the Premier League. It was October and opportunity had been taken away from him.
We put him in a protective boothe gave him crutches and sent him straight off for an MRI scan, which confirmed our fears that hed ruptured his Achilles. With these ruptures you wish to run as possible. That was a Saturday and from first-thing Monday morning Andriy had undergone surgery in London to repair the tendon.
After the hours after the accident, Yarmolenko needed to face up to the possibility of many long weeks of healing work.
Following the surgery, Yarmolenkos injured right leg was stored in a boot that came off stretching exercises. During this slow period, his sanity was just as significant as his physical retrieval.
Watching the other players go out coaching every day was tough for him, explained Collinge. To get him through that first 10 week period after the accident, we had been trying to be very positive . Andriy is a positive character so that helped, however the coaching staff, the director and the players were fantastic around him.
We have a participant care team in the club as well who assured Andriy and his family knew we were as a staff and club to offer him every support possible, by talking to a psychologist to attaining into team hes used formerly from the Ukraine. Theteam-behind-the-team ethic helped for Andriy straight back to where he is currently.
Collinge and the coaching team were eager to maintain Yarmolenko as active as possible to keep his problem. There was fitness work for his upper body and also to raise his heart rate and hydrotherapy to help keep him in shape.
Yarmolenko was set a set of targets. The main thing Ive learnt through the years is that you give the player realistic markers of how the rehabilitation programme will appear and set them aims within that period of time, said Collinge. You need to ensure that the participant purchases into that.
Buy into it . There were early starts and extended hours in the Rush Green training base of West Ham but the mindset of Yarmolenko remained loyal. Even at the seasons end, when his team-mates had gone off on vacation, Yarmolenko still arrived each day to keep his battle back to fitness .
His treatment used and was wide-ranging technology. In an altitude room, Yarmolenko rode static bicycles, worked to a cross-trainer and conducted in an anti-gravity treadmill.
Andriy has been doing work at a simulated setting of 3000m altitude, clarified Collinge. That worked his lungs and heart harder, therefore when he return to this pitch his fitness wasnt depleted too much. He would do high-intensity job on the bicycle as well as from December, we slowly increased the burden his body was bearing as he ran to the treadmill
Whilst massage and muscle stimulators assisted strengthen muscles body weight tests and regular weigh-ins monitored the illness of Yarmolenko, meetings with the team nutritionist substituted his diet.
After a morning at the altitude chamber, additional work together with all the strength and conditioning trainers followed in the day and weekly Pilates classes helped with versatility.
Every player wants to get back as rapidly as you can and we would like to facilitate that safely, said Collinge. Altitude chambers, cryotherapy chambers, muscle stimulators, shockwave machines, you name it, there is a great deal of info and gear out there. We are constantly trying to obtain these gains to find the player back on the pitch quicker and more powerful and in a more effective manner.
West Ham boss Pellegrini kept a close eye on this procedure. Yarmolenko might have been ruled out for the entire year but, much like injured players at the heart, Pellegrini insisted on him still being included in staff meetings and made to feel part of this team.
Mr Pellegrini likes to be aware of what is happening with all the injured players, said Collinge. I meet with him each morning and talk through every participant, whether theyre healthy or not. The supervisor sees the gamers at the treatment room, hell come in and ask how theyre getting on.
He keeps communication open with injured players since the player needs to feel part of the club and demanded. Mr Pellegrini and his team are great at doing this. The gamers dont feel left out or moved to the side since theyre injured.
Yarmolenkos job on the treadmill raised his power through December and come January he was ready to get back to working on grass.
The approach was again slow, steady, methodical. Straight line running evolved to agility work and from April he was able to combine with his team-mates for some non-contact sessions before, eventually, in May, contact coaching. But that wasnt the roads end.
When you set a player back to contact sessions, then you have to develop his assurance, said Collinge. There is nothing like training to achieve that. Theres only so much we could perform in a rehabilitation setting before you unleash the participant into a full-contact session and he has to be subjected to the pressures and strains that instruction exerts on this sidewalk.
Yarmolenko responded nicely and, had the Premier League season expanded into June, he would have been back in action for West Ham. But given the timing of his comeback, Pellegrini along with the medical team agreed itd be best to go simple and guarantee Yarmolenko was 100 percent for July 1, the beginning of pre-season.
That meant , with West Hams initial team heading away to their vacations after achieving a top-half ending in the group, Yarmolenko needed to discover others to train with.
We kept an U23s training team back later especially to help Andriy, therefore that he can do additional training together, said Collinge. He went to Ukraine and also did some practice with the national group, but we were very much controlling that coaching to make sure he did not do too much too soon.
Together with his own vacations reduced to just a brief break along with his family, Yarmolenkos summertime continued to concentrate on his rehab.
Theyre the sacrifices you have to make, said Collinge. People believe the season finishes mid-May, but certainly for the medical staff, the sport science group we offer a service throughout the summer and Andriy was responsible for the majority of the summer.
When July 1 arrived Yarmolenko was prepared for action – and now he is reaping the rewards for his hard work.
The rehab should not be taken lightly since its a process that takes an awful lot of buy-in, and it is testament to Andriy he came through it well, explained Collinge. It requires a massive amount of mental robustness and pleasure to get back playing at that level again.
The difficult work still lasts. We dont become complacent. The demands of the Premier League are huge these days, physically and psychologically, and keeps him on the pitch if a player like Andriy has been injured they need to do additional effort that helps.
But he is a fantastic professional. Hes been a sponge over the last 12 months and carried on board the advice that my team have given him and its really satisfying to see him back, playing the way he is.
View West Ham vs Crystal Palace live on Sky Sports Premier League from 5pm on Saturday; kick-off is 5.30pm.

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