How to Play Soccer After a Broken Ankle

Close-up of foot and soccer ball with goalie in background
A soccer player begins kicking the ball after an injury. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Soccer is a high-impact sport with a lot of running, stopping, starting and changes in direction. As a result, soccer players can sustain ankle fractures. Ankle fractures occur as the result of rolling or twisting your ankle out of its normal range of motion. Ankle fractures take approximately six weeks to heal. Following your fracture, you should be able to make a return to soccer. You can do so by taking a few precautions.

Step 1

Receive permission from your doctor. Prior to playing soccer again, you will need a note from your doctor stating you are healed and ready to participate again.

Step 2

Attend physical therapy. If your doctor recommended physical therapy, continue with therapy sessions. Physical therapy can help to strengthen your ankle as well as improve flexibility, range of motion and balance.

Step 3

Perform ankle exercises. Single-leg balances, ankle circles, writing the alphabet with your toes, using resistance bands, ankle pumps, towel curls and calf stretches can help prepare you for soccer as well as reduce your risk of re-injury.

Step 4

Use an ankle brace. Ankle braces are lightweight and will fit comfortably inside your athletic shoes. Many doctors will recommend the use of an ankle brace upon returning to sports after an ankle fracture.

Step 5

Work on strength and conditioning. Practice running, lift weights and work on soccer drills. After being side-lined for around six weeks, you will need to rebuild your stamina.

Step 6

Attend practices. Start practicing with your team. Learn new plays and practice old ones. You will likely return to playing just as how you were prior to your ankle fracture.

Things You'll Need

  • Ankle brace

  • Resistance bands

Warning

If you experience any pain or signs of re-injury while playing, discontinue play and contact your doctor.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
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