I’ve been very lucky throughout my career that I’ve never had any serious injuries or major operations – aside from a couple scopes on my right knee and a few bumps and bruises.
But I’m now getting ready (and it may have happened by the time you read this) to have total knee, patellofemoral replacements. In other words, I’m getting both my knees replaced at the same time.
As you can imagine, I’m going through all kinds of emotions as the surgery gets closer. It’s a major life-changing moment for me and I would like to share this time with you before and after surgery and through my rehab. I think writing a blog will help me through this process.
At this time, I find myself reflecting on a wonderful soccer career and how well my knees have done for me throughout. It makes me think back to playing on the old turf at Empire Stadium – there’s no doubt the poor knees took a pounding.
But they stood strong and helped me help the ‘Caps to a Soccer Bowl win in 1979. Me and my knees have been through a lot together, including helping Canada qualify for the World Cup in 1986, helping the Vancouver ‘86ers to four straight Canadian championships and other memorable moments. If only I could keep my old knees after the operation.
I’ll let you decide whether I’m joking or not...
It’s going to be a challenging rehab, but to be honest I’m more worried about the operation itself. I know I have the best doctor and I won’t be feeling a thing – it’s just the thought of having my knees opened up. My misses and other folks keep telling me not to think about it but my brain will not cooperate.
So that’s where I’m at right now. And this is just the start of my journey.
See you on the other side.
Whitecaps FC Ring of Honour inductee Carl Valentine is the club's all-time leader in appearances and fourth all-time in goals scored. Currently, Valentine serves as a club ambassador and U-16 Residency assistant coach.