Alexander Hendrickx on his withdrawal from the World Cup of Hockey: “I cried when I learned of the seriousness of my injury” (video)
It was from the stands of the Kalinga Satdium that the Antwerp resident watched Belgium qualify for the last four. A package for the rest of the tournament that the Pinoké player is slowly trying to digest.
Video -By Interview by Laurent Toussaint Published on 01/25/2023 at 15:02 Reading time: 4 mins
Despite the complicated circumstances, the central defender did not shirk his responsibilities by responding with great kindness to all the requests from the Belgian press the day after the announcement of his withdrawal for the rest of the World Cup. The Belgian pc specialist took the time, with everyone, to re-explain in detail the course of the last few days and his feelings after having to throw in the towel in the competition for a tear in the internal ligament in his right knee.
When contacting the Japanese player, did you immediately understand that it was serious?
I first felt pain on the outside of my knee. I figured it would be better walking on it. But not at all. I knew then that it was over. Before having the MRI, I first had to wait 48 hours and as the pain subsided a little bit, I nevertheless regained hope. But, seeing the scan, the specialist told me immediately that it was far too dangerous to play and that I risked a much more serious injury and an absence of 8 months. Which was unthinkable with the European Championship this summer, and the preparation for the Paris Games in stride. There is a big difference at the muscular, hockey or even psychological level between a rehabilitation of 6 to 8 weeks or another of 6 to 9 months. Ps question, therefore, to take the slightest risk.
What was going on in your head at that time?
I just cried! It’s terrible not to be able to participate in the conquest of a new title of world champion. I would have preferred that to happen during the domestic competition with my club. But not in a world tournament that I prepared for a year and a half.
How did you experience the quarter-final against New Zealand? You were seated in the gallery alongside your parents who had made the trip.
It wasn’t easy because I hate watching a hockey game (laughs). I obviously prefer to play them. I’m very nervous when I’m not on the pitch. But it was nice having my parents there. We saw a good game and that’s the most important thing.
You will try to continue to help the team in some way.
In any case, I will stay with the team until the end since I have already started my revalidation in Bhubaneswar. I am obviously available to help my teammates and the staff. But I don’t want to get in their way either. However, if they need me, I will be present for the group, whether more specifically for the pc or to help Max Van Oost if he needs advice at left-back.
What is planned for the next few weeks?
I was supposed to go skiing normally and had to cancel my vacation. But I will work calmly without forcing. Don’t start over too quickly. I know I’m going to go through a difficult time.
Shouldn’t the International Hockey Federation (FIH) take measures to protect sleepers?
Of course because this is not the first time that a first shooter fails to stop and hits a shooter head-on. I think something needs to be changed in this phase. It’s getting way too dangerous. With the same contact, in the middle of the field, it is automatically a yellow card. And if it’s within 25 yards, it’s pc The defender doesn’t play the ball but the player. We have to protect ourselves because we end our movement on one leg and we don’t see the opponent coming. We are far too exposed. It is therefore necessary, perhaps, to think of solutions so that this does not happen again in the future.