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Rachel Corsie: The ins and outs of recovering from a knee injury – women’s football is a long way from frozen bag of peas approach of 10 years’ ago

The Scotland skipper also discusses the recent international window and this weekend's SWPL 1 games.

Rachel Corsie in action for Aston Villa. Image: Shutterstock.
Rachel Corsie in action for Aston Villa. Image: Shutterstock.

It has been a difficult couple of weeks for me, but I’m glad to have started my recovery from a knee injury and surgery.

I’ve been back down south with Aston Villa this week for rehab sessions in the gym and with the physios, after having arthroscopy surgery in Scotland a fortnight ago.

My aim is to be back by the end of the season, but my recovery will dictate my return.

I want to return in the best possible condition, for myself, but also for my team-mates, because I want to be able to help and contribute to the team when I do come back.

I’m a structured person, so although the circumstances are difficult, I try to enjoy the routine that comes with recovery and it’s rewarding to see the progress you make.

There are difficult moments, too, and I’ve had a couple of them this week – but, even in the challenging times, you know that it’s part of the journey and there is also going to be so much to gain.

I’ve enjoyed being back at Aston Villa this week because it helps being around the team, in the meetings, eating lunch together and getting positive energy from them.

Rachel Corsie’s Aston Villa team-mates. Image: Shutterstock

We’ve been unlucky with injuries at Villa this season and there are currently a few of us out at the same time.

Remi Allen and Simone Magill have both been out with long-term knee injures, more serious than mine, and they’re getting closer and closer to returning.

It’s really encouraging to see their progress because I can look forward to those kind of days, too.

Emily Gielnik has been out with an ankle injury and we’re very similar, competitive people, so we both know we will spur each other on during the challenging sessions together in the coming weeks.

Everything counts in recovery

The recovery process itself can be intense and require much longer days than normal.

Every day counts with rehab and you spend much more time in the treatment room and have longer sessions in the gym.

It can be double sessions or different types of conditioning to make sure you don’t lose as much fitness, which obviously benefits you upon your return to the pitch.

At Villa, we have great facilities, which boosts your recovery – it’s reflective of how the women’s game has grown.

I remember when I had ACL surgery about 10 years ago, I was using a bag of frozen peas, which did the job, but luckily, we have much better access to recovery tools now.

For me, everything matters – it’s not only about what I do with the physio or in the gym.

I try do it anyway, but I’ve definitely put a bit more commitment in to sleep, nutrition and hydration, because I really do notice the impact it has.

When you’re injured, you want to give yourself the absolute best chance to get back and a lot of that comes down to being disciplined.

I’m probably someone who needs to be held back than be pushed to do things, but in recovery it is a fine balance.

I want to let my body heal, so even though I’m actively working on my recovery, I know I can’t push too much right now. If you push too soon, you can risk setting yourself back by doing more damage.

The most difficult thing I’ve found is missing out on match-days. That’s going to be challenging this weekend as my club host Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday.

I’ve also missed an international camp, which I haven’t done in a long time.

Although that was challenging, and I was gutted to miss it, the international break was a chance for me to reset and recharge ahead of the rehab process.

Emma Watson’s Scotland impact no surprise

I’ve wrote about 17-year-old Emma Watson for three weeks now – after her first call-up to the Scotland squad, her debut against Australia, and now after she scored a brace against Costa Rica in her first appearance at Hampden.

Emma is a great player, so I wasn’t surprised by the impact she had during the camp.

She was outstanding – and the attention she got wasn’t overhyped.

She’s got a fantastic attitude – an elite attitude – and cares about the finer details of her game.

I’ve spoke to the other girls who were also at the camp and they said everyone has been positive, like Kathryn Hill and Chelsea Cornet, who were also called up for the first time.

Emma Watson, centre, celebrates with her Scotland team-mates after scoring at Hampden. Image: SNS.

The national team did really well with two wins and two clean sheets and it’s a credit to the environment that has been created by a group of players who want to be successful.

It’s an ongoing project with Scotland and we want to ensure we always have an environment where players feel they can enjoy it, but also work hard and develop.

It allows players to express themselves in games and I think Emma Watson was the best example of that – in midfield, she was able to do what comes natural to her and created good opportunities.

I certainly wasn’t shocked by that, as she was included in the team on merit after performing well for Rangers this season.

Big clashes at the top and bottom of SWPL 1

There are big clashes at the top and bottom end of the SWPL 1 table this weekend, as Aberdeen host Hamilton, while Glasgow City face Celtic at Petershill Park.

It’s a must-win game for the ninth-placed Dons. They need to create some daylight between themselves and the other relegation contenders, like Accies.

Aberdeen need a win not just for more points on the table, but to improve their mindset.

It’s been a difficult campaign, and probably the most challenging some of the players have had in recent years.

A win could give them a real boost ahead of what will be another very important game against 10th-placed Dundee United on Wednesday night.

For Glasgow City, they will be revelling in their position at the top of the table, and a win over Celtic could increase their advantage to 11 points.

I think some people wrote City off after Rangers won the league last season, but throughout the campaign they’ve proven they’re still a force to be reckoned with.