Jiloan Hamad: "I’m in good hands at TSG"

He only wanted to come back to TSG in July after spending six months on loan at Standard Liege. Fate decided otherwise. Jiloan Hamad has been training in the rehabilitation department at TSG for two months after rupturing his posterior cruciate ligament. He’s happy to be in Hoffenheim, he says, and appeared determined, thankful and cheerful during a conversation with

Hello Jiloan, how’s it going?

Jiloan Hamad: I’m good again. The first weeks after the operation were bad. I had to be on crutches for seven weeks and it hurt. But now it’s good. I can run normally and train every day.

How tough was it for you to understand that your body would no longer function correctly overnight? 

Hamad: It was very tough. After the injury in Belgium, I first thought that it would only take three months to come back again and play again. I was then in Straubing for my operation, who said to me that it takes ten months for the knee to be healed again and it has to be operated on. That moment was bad, but it’s happened and something I should have done otherwise, was to accept it. I knew I had to think positively. It’s a long way back but I’ll give it my best shot. 

At what point did you then look forward again? 

Hamad: The first three, four days following the operation weren’t nice. I had to take a lot of painkillers but I thought to myself after a week: You’ll grow stronger from this. Now, two months after the operation, I have accepted the situation. But at the start it was very tough for me to see the other players on the pitch. Furthermore, I had just decided to go on loan to Liege, where I liked it too and played well. What I knew directly after the operation, was that I would give my best in Hoffenheim to come back.

Do you have a plan for the coming time? 

Hamad: The doctor has given me a schedule for every step, which I will approach together with the rehabilitation team. We won’t talk about a specific point in time for a comeback, but we have a plan.

What are you still able to do with your knee?

Hamad: I can do it normally and with a full load. Perhaps I’m a week away from beginning to jog slowly again. Building up muscle and achieving full mobility are the most important things at the moment. I have to be cautious in the first three months and get my knee back used to being under full load.

Was it your decision to undergo rehabilitation? 

Hamad:  Yes, I decided it. I had lots of support from Hoffenheim from the first day though. Alexander Rosen and the team doctors wrote to me immediately and cheered me up. I thought that I would come back here in summer anyway. I feel very comfortable here and the rehab team is superb.

Niklas Süle had a similar injury to you. Have you spoken to him about it?

Hamad: Yes and I asked him lots of questions. How long does it take until the muscles are built up again? When will I first be able to jog again? Niki approached me though and advised me to always think positively. 

The injury occurred in training. Can you still remember it?

Hamad: I don’t think I’ll ever forget that day. I was a bit tired on the day. We’d been on a training camp for a week and were then back in training the day after. We were playing six-on-six. The training was almost finished, it was my last action. The previous training camp was very tiring and my foot then got stuck on the pitch and it happened.

Who supports you during your rehab period?

Hamad: TSG supported me from the first day. I’m thankful fort hat. My contract in Belgium still runs until the end of the month but it wasn’t a problem to perform rehabilitation here. When I came here, everything had already been settled. I had an appointment at the doctors, a treatment appointment in rehab. I received instructions every day and was taken care of perfectly here. From day one, I felt I was in good hands here. My family isn’t here but they came here to support me for a month straight after the operation. That also helped me a lot.

Do you have a big goal or are you setting lots of small ones?

Hamad: I set a new goal every day and I don’t think ahead further than a month. I have patience and don’t want to put myself under pressure. I’d prefer it to go on for a further month, so I can return 100%. It would be nice to be back during the winter break. Every day earlier than that is all the nicer.

How have your plans changed in the last months?

Hamad: The first half of the season in Hoffenheim didn’t go so well for me unfortunately. After the first half of the season, I asked myself a question: Should I stay here or go abroad? I spoke with those at the top and we together decided that it would be good for me to choose the option and play abroad. I of course wanted to play football, I was part of the Sweden national team and knew I would only play for them if I regularly featured at club level. I’m only 24 years of age and knew I had to and wold like to be on the pitch. It was certain I would return to TSG in summer. I saw it as a chance to return to Hoffenheim as a better player. Then I unfortunately sustained the injury and my plans were scuppered to start with. But my plans back then are still in place though. I’ll just need six months longer now and don’t have any second thoughts. I will only grow stronger then and give my best when I’m fit.

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