Hamburg’s Nicolai Muller could not have asked for a better start to his Bundesliga season when a cross from a teammate sailed over everyone to the far side of the box, where the German winger was patiently waiting. Muller snuck his shot in at the near post, and immediately flung his arms up in the air in celebration.
And then things went terribly, terribly wrong.
Muller went into a spinning, flailing, twisting routine as he ran toward the corner flag. But when he landed one of his leaps, he crumpled to the turf, clutching his right knee. Less than 24 hours later, the injury was diagnosed as a torn ACL.
Muller’s teammates initially began to hug him on the ground before they realized he was in pain. He was treated by trainers off to the side of the field where he went down while play resumed. He was able to put weight on his right leg, and walked back onto the pitch, but was subbed off five minutes later.
The ACL tear will require surgery, and will rule Muller out for around seven months. It will likely cost him most of his season.
It’s certainly an embarrassing way to get injured, especially for a player of Muller’s experience and stature, and he’ll likely be ridiculed for the nature of it. But it’s an injury nonetheless, and really sad to see, especially on the opening weekend of the season. Here’s hoping Muller makes a speedy and full recovery.