Everton star Danielle Turner opens up on overcoming 'unusual and bizarre' injury trouble

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If I’m being totally honest, last year was a difficult one for me.

It was an injury, but it didn’t feel like an injury. One day I was absolutely fine, and then the next I couldn’t feel my legs.

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It’s tightness in the calves, but it’s also a pins-and-needles situation which I get in both calves and feet. So try and play football with that in your legs and feet!

It’s obviously not a pain, but it’s very uncomfortable. Trying to play football and focus mentally when something physical is going on is really tough as well.

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It’s a discomfort and it is quite hard to deal with.

It was a really unusual and bizarre situation for me to be in, and I suppose one that was mentally really difficult for me at the end of last season. One training session I could be absolutely fine, the next I couldn’t.

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For me, the hardest thing about that was going into training every day not knowing whether my symptoms would come on or not.

We got to the stage where we decided to have surgery to try and help with that. I was flying through rehab, and then to be honest come pre-season I was still getting a few symptoms.

I had a it of a stop-start pre-season and had some games getting symptoms back, and mentally again I found that really challenging. I’d had the surgery and was fully aware the symptoms might not completely disappear, but it was still difficult.

At the start of pre-season I was still struggling a little bit, but as the season has progressed they’ve held out and I’ve got into a good momentum.

I do still occasionally get a few symptoms or tight calves, but we now know what triggers that and how to manage it in training. I do feel a lot better and I’m able to play games again and get through them relatively unscathed.

It’s something I’m probably going to have to manage for the rest of my career.

Thankfully I’ve still played a lot of games this season, and as a defender I never give up in training – I’m sliding and trying to block things that might be impossible to get to!

Blocks, interceptions – that’s your job, so it’s nice to hear stats that I’m near the top of the Women’s Super League for those.

It’s been a bit of a difficult start to 2022 with Covid, but I suppose that’s football!

That’s the life we’re living now, we’ve got to deal with this adversity. We’ve still been working hard with limited numbers on the training pitch.

We’ve been three months under Jean-Luc Vasseur now, we’re still trying to find our feet a little bit under him. It’s not bee the ideal start to the calendar year, but we’ve been trying to prepare as best we can.

At one point we were split into two groups doing separate work on the other side of the pitch! Of course then it’s difficult because you can’t really replicate certain things in game with those limited numbers.

It was a bit strange at times but you’ve just got to take whatever life throws at you, and it’s thrown us this at the start of the year.

We’ve dealt with it in the best way we can and the numbers have come back now.

Jean-Luc is new to the league and coaching in this country, so I’m trying as one of the senior players to welcome him and the staff that have joined him as well.

I’m trying to help them as much as they’re trying to help get their ideas across on the pitch, it kind of works both ways in that respect.

It’s always sad when you lose a manager, when Willie Kirk left it wasn’t a nice feeling in the dressing room.

What Willie did for the club, we were near the bottom when he joined and seeing where he took us, we won’t forget that as players – especially the ones who were there throughout his journey.

For him to get the club into FA Cup finals and back to the top of the table in the years he was there, we’ll always be thankful and we’re sad to lose a manager.

But sometimes that’s football, Jean-Luc has come in with new ideas and we’re only three months into this new project – so there’s still a lot of work for us to do going forward.

Hopefully that experience he’s brought with him can lead to success in the future.

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