I felt good after the Santander match, receiving media attention. 

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The day after the game, during recovery training, the pain came up in the left ankle as if a needle had been pricked. 

Since it was recovery training, I didn’t play too hard and explained the situation to the coaches, and soon the team doctor came running. 

The expression of the team doctor checking my ankle was unusual.  

Gran Canaria University Hospital.

I was brought by medical staff from the training ground by car. 

It was my first time coming in person and receiving treatment. 

I waited for the result of the MRI in the hospital. 

I was worried because there was a time when a bone fragment inside the ankle was found before joining the team.  

My father, who arrived after receiving the call, was talking to the doctor in the doctor’s office with a stiff face.  

The Spanish word operación sounds clear, although no details have been heard.  

If I have surgery, I will be absent for at least two months. 

After having a knife on his body, no player has returned faster than that. 

It was physically impossible.  

Surgery all of a sudden, is there any other way? 

Dad leaves the doctor’s office with a dark look on his face. 

My heart sank suddenly.  

“Kim, I think it’s better to have surgery.
I talked to the doctor and he said the bone fragments have broken once more in the shock and will cause constant pain.
They’re saying we should operate as soon as possible because the pus is coming out of the wound.” 

“Do I have to do it?” 

“It’s a pity, but yes.
The doctor was surprised.
How have you been working out with that?” 

Las Palmas’ youngest scorer and the team’s highest scorer were no longer meaningful if I can’t play.  

Two months for surgery, two months for recovery. 

It is impossible to be in the first division again within this year.  

I want to pretend to be okay, but I’m angry. 

It was going well. 

I was doing well.  

The area near my stomach boils up as if someone had started a fire. 

If I had known this would have happened, I would have stepped on midfielder Santander’s ankle. 

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It’s unfair to end it like this. 

Coach Juan Naranjo approached me after talking to team doctor Bolanos. 
“Kim, I’m sorry.” 

“….” 

“Let’s aim to be back in three months.
Now you’re part of the first team, and you’ll get more opportunities.” 

“I didn’t want to end up like this.” 

“Yes, Manager Pepe and I feel the same way.
But this isn’t going to end your football career.
We’ll see.” 

Without a moment of despair, the surgery went on two days later.  

     

October 4th. 

It’s been two months since they’ve pulled out the bone. 

Rehabilitation training was smooth.  

As the doctor told me, I have thoroughly devoted myself to rehabilitation. 

“Let’s repeat one more set.” 

“..Si.” 

After finishing pulling and loosening the rubber band using ankle strength, I look at the status of Las Palmas on my cell phone. 

I heard about the team’s status through the players who often visited the hospital, but today was the first time I found out about it properly. 

0–0 

draw at Tenerife… 

Lost 0-3 at home to Almeria. 

1–0 home win and so on.  

Yesterday’s 2-0 win over von Pera Dina was a great achievement for Las Palmas, who is weak on the road.  

The return of front-line strikers Castro and Pekart from injury seemed to have been the driving force behind the team’s rise. 

Three wins, one draw, and two losses after I left. 

It wasn’t a bad result. 

The team is tied with Cardi, who is ranked No.
1 with 19 points. 

It is unlikely that the team will lose the flow and fall down sharply. 

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To be honest, I also wanted the team to collapse moderately while I was away.  

I have nothing to say even if I get cursed as selfish, but it was also true that I wanted the coaches to remember the moments when I brought victory. 

After rehabilitation training, I left the hospital with a doctor’s notification that I can start light exercise.

      

There was a scrap soccer article on the wall of the kitchen next to my dad who comes home and prepares dinner. 

There must have been articles about the injuries after the articles “A fresh start” “A new prince of Canary,” and “A great step for promotion,” but my father decorated the wall with only three spectacular games. 

I felt uncomfortable in the back of my mind. 

“Eat the cabbage first.
Here’s the sauce.” 

“Yes, thank you.” 

A strong sea breeze knocks on the veranda door, disturbing the voice of a Korean announcer from satellite TV. 

Since coming to the Canary Islands, my father, who only watched local news channels every time saying he had to learn the local language, has installed a new satellite TV while I was hospitalized. 

“How’s your leg?” 

“There is no pain at all, so starting tomorrow, I will start walking.”

“Then you might get back sooner than I thought.”

“They said it might take less than a month, but we’ll see.” 

“Dip it in the cabbage sauce.” 

Through the sound of the TV, the sound of knocking on the window grows louder and louder.

It rains in an instant

“It’s been a long time since it rained.” 

“I know.”

Dad tries to open the window, but he gets hit by raindrops coming in from the sea breeze and closes the window latch. 

Honestly, it was a bit funny. 

With an awkward smile, Dad comes back to the table and eats. 

“The wind is very strong here because it’s an island.” 

“Yes, it’s different from Korea.” 

“No, the island in Korea is very windy.” 

After washing the dishes, I checked the supplies to take to school tomorrow. 

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I entered the room and packed my assignments and notes under the yellow fluorescent light. 

As I sat at my desk in the isolated room, to see if I missed anything, the sound of raindrops came in through the window gap. 

Tears welled up in my eyes out of the blue. 

It came in slowly and calmly, a feeling somewhere between anger at the player who tackled me and compassion for myself.

Only at the moment of being alone did I feel unfair and anxious  

17 years old in Korean age. 

16 years old in Spain. 

I feel like a boat built with a broken engine in the open sea. 

It was fortunate that the sound of the rain hid my cry. 

I’ve been doing great so far. 

Manager calls every day to check if rehabilitation is going well, and Las Palmas fans asked for autographs at the hospital. 

I have to accept the fact that I am afraid of the hope everyone has for me. 

     

October 25th. 

Gran Canaria University Hospital Rehabilitation Center. 

“I’ll pull back to the left.
What do you think?” 

“I’m fine.”  

“Number down the pain.
1 is the weakest, 10 is the strongest.” 

“No pain at all.” 

“All right.
The area of the surgery also got filled up by the muscles and flesh well.
It would have been better than before.” 

At the hospital, the doctor announced my return to team training, saying he had delivered it to team doctor Bolanos.  
After two months and three weeks, I was able to go back to the grass field.  

Las Palmas has a 2–1 record in the last three weeks. 

It was good to win two games in a row, but it fell to second place after losing 2-0 to Cardis, who was competing for first place.  

I made it my first goal to show up on the professional stage again after showing good performance in the second division. 

As the team is performing well, the path to the first division will be more difficult. 

Everything starts again tomorrow. 

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“Dios mío…” 

“Hacomido algo?” 

“There’s no such thing.” 

Second-tier central defender Forte Hesus asks what I ate with a serious look. 

He’s a jerk. 

He thinks I’ve been on medication? 

Of course, it was a little strange.  

Ball went too well after my return from injury. 

Fifteen minutes into the 40-minute practice game, I had already scored three goals.  

The left ankle worked more smoothly than before without any pain as the doctor said. 

The improvement of the ankle is not the end.  

In the competition with defenders, it has become easier to balance the body, from ball touch to instantaneous speed from a short distance. 

In body measurement, the amount of muscle decreased slightly, and the body was lighter than a feather.  

The anxiety is nowhere to be found and the stadium is big.  

Compared to the experience of playing in the first division, the practice game in the second division was easy, so it was insignificant. 

The line of the opposing team’s defense, which did not wear a vest, did not settle down properly and was confused. 

Trapping the diagonally flying ball with the left foot I put it down in front of my feet.

I didn’t train separately, but I could use my left foot like my right foot. 

Maybe it was a little better than the right foot. 

As the left foot is free, there are also various options to choose from within the game.  

Players who marked me missed me because they couldn’t follow me.  

Tony Segura is wary of my movements and tries to defend carefully, but he loses his balance and gives space. 

The pressure felt shallow even though two central defenders were lined up in front. 

Without delay, I try to shoot at the left post. 

Goalkeeper Dominguez Areandro leaps up late, but it’s too late.  

He did not react properly to the left-footed shot I made and allowed a goal, which was my 4th goal.

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