Christian Eriksen injury

Christian Eriksen injury: High ankle sprain?


Manchester United progressed to the 5th round of the FA Cup but at the cost of Christian Eriksen who suffered a serious ankle injury. The 30-year old was on the receiving end of a reckless tackle which has now forced him out for 3 months on the sidelines. Initially, it seemed like Eriksen suffered just a mild ankle sprain but now the injury doesn’t look very good. So, what is Christian Eriksen’s injury? How bad is it? And will he need surgery?

I will be answering all these questions including the mechanism of his injury by reviewing video footage, relevant anatomy, potential structures involved and severity of the injury. Let’s get started.

What is Christian Eriksen’s injury?

Christian Eriksen was substituted early in the second half of the FA Cup fixture against Reading after suffering a left ankle injury. Eriksen’s ankle was caught by Andy Carroll who made a dangerous tackle in an attempt to regain possession. 

Looking at the video, Eriksen’s ankle was forced in an initial eversion mechanism followed by external rotation (pic below). The primary concern for this mechanism would be a high ankle sprain. Secondary concerns include medial ankle sprain(deltoid ligament) & fractures.

Image by Injury Mechanisms

What is a high ankle sprain?

The damage to the ligaments which connect the tibia to the fibula bone at the ankle joint, usually caused by forced external rotation of the ankle is known as a high ankle sprain or syndesmotic injury. A high ankle sprain is a concern for a number of structures, mainly the Anterior inferior tibiofibular ligament and the interosseous ligament.

Get this image on: Wikimedia Commons | License details

How bad is Christian Eriksen’s injury?

The severity of a high ankle sprain is graded based on the damage to the involved ligaments. 

For a Grade 1 sprain: the player might be able to play with some discomfort/out for 2-3 weeks

For a Grade 2 & stable sprain: out for 4-6 weeks

In case of a Grade 2 & unstable sprain: Surgery, out for 3 months

For a Grade 3 sprain: Surgery, out 3 months

Manchester United released an official statement on Christian Eriksen’s injury stating that the Danish midfielder will remain sidelined for three months. The timeline matches that of a Grade 3 or Grade 2 unstable sprain which would require surgery. 

Final thoughts

As I mentioned earlier, high ankle sprains can involve injuries to a number of structures including the mentioned ligaments with associated fractures. The only way to know is after properly examining the player clinically and imaging. My concern lean towards a potential unstable high ankle sprain which would require surgery. 

This is where I believe the club could have stepped up and saved us from all the speculation. I have been critical of Man United and Erik Ten Hag’s injury reporting this season. Be it Axel Tuanzebe, Brandon Williams or even Donny Van de Beek, the club has been poor when it comes to injury reporting. You can only do so much by watching video footage, right? Anyways, I hope you liked our “Christian Eriksen injury: High ankle sprain?” article. You can check out Christian Eriksen and the rest of Man United’s injuries on our Premier League injury table. Thank you.


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