German footballer swallows his tongue in freak accident
Stuttgart’s badly injured captain Christian Gentner is “on his way to recovery” after a horror collision saw him swallow his tongue and left him with multiple facial fractures, his club said.
“Given the circumstances, he is well and on his way to recovery”, Stuttgart’s director Michael Reschke told broadcaster SWR on Monday.
The 32-year-old suffered fractures of the eye socket, the nose and the upper jaw when the knee of Wolfsburg goalkeeper Koen Casteels caught him flush in the face late in Stuttgart’s 1-0 Bundesliga win on Saturday.
Gentner posted a picture of the unaffected left side of his face on Instagram on Monday, because the right is “not really presentable”.
“First of all, the most important info for many people who have worried: I am very well, I have – as already mentioned – one or another breaks in the face, but nothing that could not be corrected again,” he wrote.
Only the quick reactions of Stuttgart’s team doctor prevented a tragedy as Gentner, a former Germany international, had swallowed his tongue in the collision.
Gentner hopes to be “back playing again soon”, but Reschke says it was a miracle that he was not more seriously hurt.
“We really need to be happy that in some ways he got off lightly,” said Reschke.
As Gentner lay knocked-out on the pitch, “my heart stopped. The terrible fears, which we all initially had, didn’t come true. Thank God,” added Reschke.
Gentner is expected to be out for several months, but “he will still be a very important figure for this team this season,” added Reschke.
The Stuttgart boss says he expects goalkeepers will rethink how they challenge for the ball in future.
“I think Casteels will not do the same thing again in the next match and that many other Bundesliga goalkeepers will be thinking about how they will go into challenges in the future, at least not with this aggressiveness,” added Reschke.
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