Janet Yoxall gives the low-down on Chris Morgan, the under-appreciated phyiso who sewed Steven Gerrard’s penis back together.
Stevie G writes fondly about Chris Morgan in his book My Story. It was Chris who played a big part in keeping Gerrard on the pitch for ten years at Liverpool. From Stevie’s famous penis cut at Bournemouth in the FA cup that he would only show to Chris, to his hernia prior to playing Chelsea; this was a man Gerrard would trust with his life.
Chris is mentioned throughout Gerrard’s book for patching Stevie back together time and time again. Chris Morgan joined Liverpool soon after the triumph in Istanbul. He studied Physiotherapy at Bradford University. Morgan worked his way from reserve team physio to head physio and gained a Masters degree in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy at Liverpool University where he lectures. Stevie G is just one of hundreds of players that Morgan has helped get back playing again and its his brilliance I’d like to focus on.
In an interview for LFC TV, Chris Morgan said:
“Seeing the mechanism of an injury gives us lots of information about the nature of what you are likely to find when you arrive on the pitch”.
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Chris was mainly responsible for short to medium term injuries.
Lets take a look at four current Liverpool players who have benefited from Chris Morgan’s knowledge and techniques.
Can overstretched trying to reach a cross while playing against Dortmund at Anfield and he tore his ankle joint ligament. He was expected to be out for a month but he and head physio Morgan had other plans. Emre really wanted to play in the Europa League final and Chris knew how important he was to the team. Although Can left Anfield that night on crutches and a protective boot, he was going to do everything in his power to get fit quick.
Once the swelling had gone down and the pain was managed, Emre started the hard road back by working on his rehabilitation for 8 hours a day everyday. He would go into the pool and do light exercises to begin with to regain joint motion then moving onto muscle strengthening work with Chris monitoring his fitness all the time.
Emre Can worked hard for twenty days to get fit. He missed seven league matches and the semi-final away game against Villarreal. I was at the Villarreal second leg at Anfield and Can played in the base of the midfield diamond. He was sharp, incisive and he went in for tackles being the immense sweeper we know and love. He controlled the play from deep. Emre was back better than ever thanks to Chris Morgan.
Liverpool were all over Everton in the 4-0 drubbing at Anfield in April last season but I only remember three instances in that game. Funes Mori stamping on Origi’s ankle then kissing his badge as he left the field after being shown a red card and Divock being stretchered off the pitch in the 53rd minute.
Origi had suffered what seemed like an horrific injury. The press suggested he may need surgery while Klopp said we had to wait for scan results. It took several scans before the true extent of the injury was revealed. The news was good as no surgery was needed. Divock suffered ligament damage of the right ankle and was expected to be out for six weeks.
It’s staggering that on the of 11th May it was being reported that Divock was on course to feature in Basel. Chris Morgan was working his magic again as with his knowledge and expertise he designed a programme of rehabilitation for Origi that saw Divock get on the plane to Basel. Origi had missed twenty five days and five Premier League games as well as Villarreal home and away.
Liverpool’s skipper suffered a knee ligament injury against Dortmund on the 7th of April and he was ruled out for eight weeks. It was rumoured he would not make the Euros. Morgan had to get Jordan fit as quickly as Henderson’s body would allow. Jordon missed the last seven Premier League matches, watching both Europa League games against Villarreal and Seville from the side-lines. On the 10th of May, Henderson started running moving his knee in exercises that allowed full movement of the knee. Persisting in his aim of making it to the Euros Jordon worked extremely hard with Morgan at his side guiding him. Thankfully Henderson made it to the Euros playing some exquisite football.
During a training session in October, Ings sustained an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury. Danny had surgery and he was expected to be out for the rest of the season. After surgery Chris Morgan and the medical staff worked on exercises in the pool and gym while gradually increasing the intensity and duration of the training.
Morgan, along with his team discussed all injuries in fine detail twice a day – Ings being no exception. Danny moved outdoors to train in early February. Seven months after suffering the injury, Ings was back in training and it was the end of April before coming on as a substitute on May 15th in the last game of the season against West Bromwich Albion.
Morgan’s departure from Anfield is due to Klopp changing his medical team with Andreas Kronmayer a fitness coach and Mona Nemmer a nutritionist having been acquired from Bayern Munich. Morgan will be missed despite the new additions having fantastic resumés.