ACL recovery is by no means a quick process. Elise Kellond-Knight knows this all too well. But the Westfield Matilda is making a home in Sweden and inching ever closer to a return to the pitch.
It’s been eight months since Kellond-Knight tore her ACL seven minutes into a game for her Swedish club Kristianstads DFF and six months since her operation.
“I am back on the field training one on one with a trainer, doing football and building up to sprints and getting back to full function.” Kellond-Knight told matildas.com.au.
“But it's so nice to be in and around the team again and back on the pitch, feeling like a footballer at last.”
Kellond-Knight elected not to come back to Australia following her injury and has spent her entire rehab in Sweden which presented its own challenges.
“It’s been mentally hard to be away from home and go through a rehab process like this.”
“I think it's been extremely challenging, especially initially because you need so much help. You’re so immobile, you kind of lose a little bit of direction in your life because you're no longer around the team you're having to do isolated rehab.”
But Kellond-Knight is making a home in Sweden, recently buying an apartment as part of her rehab journey.
“The idea behind that was to set myself up for the year and make sure I was comfortable and happy with where I was at and when the things around your life off the pitch are going well, then things on the pitch go well.
“So that's kept me even more busy, doing some renovations and making it a nice comfortable place to live in.”
Renovations aren’t the only things keeping the 113- time capped Westfield Matilda preoccupied. The 30-year-old has kept her plate full after returning to university and beginning part-time work with Seven Consulting, as well as penning a piece for matildas.com.au.
“And then of course I've got all my roles off the field." she continued.
"I’m heavily involved with PFA as we go through the league separation process, and also with the Women's Football Council. We're always busy discussing issues and ensuring that the women's game is moving in a positive direction.”
She’s also had plenty of time to watch her Westfield Matildas team mates across the continent and here in the Westfield W-League.
If all goes well, she has only a few boxes left to tick before she can stop watching her team mates and return to the pitch properly herself.
“These last couple months are a slow progression back into full team training. So I'm training but alone at the moment and then we'll integrate me back into non-contact team stuff so passing drills and shadow play.”
“Then the next step will be complete training unrestricted. So that's the exciting part and hopefully come April that's me and after I've had a decent amount of time with normal training, I can finally partake in the match again.”