Injuries are awful. They, hurt, they set you back and they can cause you to start losing your mind...
I'm sure any athlete that has been in this situation where they're sat there not being able to train knows what I mean when I say that.
You begin to question yourself, your goals and the only thing you can think of is every other athlete you're in competition with and how hard they will be training.
The truth is, there isn't much you can do - you just have to be patient and above all else, smart.
Last year I suffered two minor injuries but both of them set me back a fair few weeks, right at the start of the year I got a small tear on the inside of my left groin.
At first I thought it was just a case bad cramp until the following day that I woke up and the entire inside of my left leg was black.
The frustrating thing was that at the time I was starting to see a good increase in my squat and leg press, this of course was going to set that back. For ten weeks I couldn't train legs. In those ten weeks I had to be cautious about how I approached cardio and certain back exercises. Every day I would massage the injury and have salt baths. I put myself in the frame of mind that there is nothing I can do about this, so I'm going to commit to it as much as I would my diet and training. This was just my new focus; repair.
Those first few leg sessions back were all very light and was aimed more at bringing strength back to that muscle area using resistance bands and endurance training. It was three months in total before I actually squatted weight again and had gone down to no more than 60kg (more than a 50% drop) As upsetting as that was, it was just a case of dealing with the cards I had been given, being thankful it wasn't an injury that ended my career and just looking forward to making sure by the end of the year I was back up to 140kg.
However later in the year I suffered with a trapped nerve the right lateral side of my back. An injury that doesn't sound too bad at all right? Wrong. This was by far the most frustrating injury I have ever had. You see there was nothing I could do about it. I'd go get it massaged, foam roll it, stretch it as far as I could; but nothing would budge it. The affect on my training was shocking. Anything from my right arm was practically immobilised. A side lay raise, a dumbbell curl, bench press, row, shoulder press, triceps extension; all out the equation.
I'd start to perform the exercise and my arm would simply give up on me. I remember before one match having my friend who was also a physio, smothering my back in deep heat whilst trying to dig into the knot to free the nerve just so I could get through the match.
The combination of that and some pain killers got me through, however that wasn't the smartest idea. For two weeks I was in this annoying situation until one day I woke up and it had gone. Again credence to the point that with injury, the best advice to give is patience. Sure there is things you can do to speed things up but be careful when doing so as they could lead to the injury becoming worse if you're not smart about it or if you push yourself too far before the muscle is repaired.
Always try to think positive. If it hasn't ended your career; then it's just a bump in the road. Don't stress about it, you'll be back, you'll have some catching up to do for sure, but that will push you harder than anyone else.