Vladislav Stoyanov was badly injured on 21st March 2017 during a practice session of the Bulgarian national football team prior to the qualification game against The Netherlands. The Ludogorets keeper tore the lateral tendon of his left knee and underwent an emergency surgery in Bucharest. The injury got complicated and Stoyanov had go through four more surgeries in a Barcelonan clinic.
His recovery ended recently and he is back in Ragrad. The keeper attends specially designed daily rehabilitation procedures in the new medical center located at the club base. Stoyanov is looking forward to the day when he will start training again.
In an honest interview for the club website Vladislav Stoyanov said when he is expected to return on the field and how is his rehabilitation going so far.
- Vlado, the last step of your treatment in Spain is over. What is your health condition now and should we consider that your injury is behind you now?
- Another recovery stage is over. The last surgery was this January and so far everything is going well. All examinations show good results and we hope it stays this way.
- Everyone wants to know when will Vladislav Stoyanov start training and come back into the team.
- Nobody could answer that, not even the doctors. My case is a rare one, and it could be the only one in history. Nobody could give a time table, but have set goals. If everything is going okay, I will start training within two months and I will try to gradually join the summer practice.
- Does this mean that you will play next season?
- I hope so. This is the goal the doctors and the chiropractors have set. I want to play during the next season.
- It has been a year after the injury; did you find out what caused the complications which were the reason for the treatment in Spain?
- Everything started with an infection, which is a common thing, but the biggest problem were the mistakes made by the Romanian doctor and this was the reason that I had to go to Spain and undergo a series of surgeries.
- How will your recreation continue from now on?
- My leg is almost completely active now and this was the main reason for me to spend some time in Spain. Now the Ludogorets chiropractors and their Spanish colleagues have developed a program for me to follow. I will go to Spain every few weeks for a routine check and depending on the results we will increase or decrease the amount of exercises.
- What was the hardest time for you in the last year?
- There was more than one tough moment. The worst tie was probably after the first operation, when we realized that things were actually worse. My leg just needed to be saved and it was not about the sport. The doctors told me that at one moment they need to cut my leg off. After the series of surgeries there was antibiotic treatment and we hoped that the infection would be terminated. This was the hardest period for men.
- What crossed your mind when you heard these terrible things? Did you believe that one day you would play again?
- Everyone would fear that he would not be able to play anymore. The very first day the doctors told me that the most important thing for me was to stay mentally strong, and I stayed positive; I knew I had a chance to play again. I became a legend in that hospital and everyone told me that I was the most positive patient they ever had. The Barcelonan clinic is the best. All the big names in football go there. Recently Mangala from Manchester City was there; he now plays in Everton. Mendy from Manchester City, who is the most expensive defender in the world, was also there. The clinic is very, very good.
- What was a day in the clinic like?
- For me it was like a camp. After the infection was cured, I went to chiropractor every morning for two hours, after which I used to rest and go back again.
- Who helped you the most in these hard times?
- My wife helped me the most, of course. She was always next to me and supported me. It was hard for her but she was tough. She brought me a lot of positive emotions. But I am grateful to my friends, as well, and also to the management of Ludogorets who called me all the time to check on me. They also asked if I needed anything. I would also like to thank BFU for supporting me.
- Is life hard for you when you’re not playing?
- Of course it is. An injury is the worst thing that could happen to an athlete. There is nothing more to do in my case. All I want is to fully recover and to be healthy enough to come back and play.
- Do you think that Ludogorets will be champion for the seventh time in a row?
- This year it would be harder for our team. CSKA-Sofia are now a serious competitor and they added good players while keeping their best ones. Levski also made a good selection and attracted an experienced coach. Beroe is performing great this year. The championship is really interesting, but Ludogorets is better than the rest in every possible way. I believe that our team will show enough class and the title will be ours, although it will not be easy.
- Which will be the main factor in the remaining nine games?
- The better mental state is crucial and it will take its tall in the two important games in Razgrad and Sofia. The emotional charge will be enormous. The calmer team will win.
- What will you say to all the fans that are waiting for you to come back?
- I am thankful to all of them for the respect and the love. They must support the team as usual despite what is going on. All the players appreciate that. I will do my best to come back as soon as possible.