Petr Cech announced that he had finished his second season playing with two fractured shoulders at Chelsea, enduring significant discomfort before sustaining a cracked skull in October 2006.
In 2004 the Blues from Rennes purchased the Czech goalkeeper. Tellingof the commitment he gave to the cause: “There was one aspect I never talked about because people at the time didn’t even know. I broke my labrum in my arm half way into my first season at Chelsea. I began the season, and finished it like that.”
However, at that point Cech was well used to nursing himself through outings:
“It seemed like it should heal over the season. It hasn’t! I still had a big problem with my arm during the second season, so I was covering it. Then, I did almost the same thing about my other shoulder in the first half of my second season. I finished my second season with damaged shoulders. I learned how to practice correctly and I didn’t experience the constant agony every day it was impossible to stop.
“I was worried of the second season’s surgery, so I didn’t want to avoid losing the World Cup. Everyone even understood how long it would take me to come back.”
He hid his injuries and pain, enduring in silence, till the end of the World Cup: “After World Cup I decided to take the operation on my relief. I came back from it really quickly and I loved playing games and not feeling discomfort when I was exercising and going.”
Cech, who ended his service at Arsenal before moving to Chelsea as a professional adviser, battled his way back from extreme illness to secure a reputation as a great all-time.