AJ Styles opens up about his ankle injury.
The Phenomenal One broke his ankle at the beginning of the year, an injury that was bad enough it forced him to miss this year’s WrestleMania 39. Now Styles is back, and is ready to finish his career on a strong note.
This was the subject of Styles’ latest interview with Alex McCarthy from Sportsmail. The former world champion begins by recalling how the injury happened.
It was a simple thing, something I’ve done a million times and usually it happens the same. I was taking a backdrop, and I could have hit my back on the apron a little bit, but in that couple of seconds of landing on the outside my ankle, depending on the mat and where it was, turned in on me and snapped. I knew right when I did it, it was one of those things, it was like ‘I’m done’.
Styles would go on to detail his journey with rehab, where he had to wear a boot. He says that he took for granted simple things like being able to run or jump.
As far as rehab is concerned, as soon as I’m able to rehab, I’m on rehab and it’s crazy how being in a boot for a while you forget how to there are certain things we take for granted – like walking and running and jumping. It’s like my body had to rehab that, I actually went for another MRI because I thought something wasn’t right. But they said the reason why it’s hurting so bad is because there’s so much inflammation. Once I realised that and that I wasn’t going to tear or rip anything I got after it because I wanted to get better. I was able to focus on jumping and running and stuff like that and it was like overnight it changed. Once you tell your brain you can do it, you can. It was really that simple once I realized I could put forward my best effort.’
However, Styles did learn one good thing from his time away with injury. He says that when the time comes to retire and spend more time with his family he’ll easily adjust.
‘I will tell you this. I thought I might go stir-crazy being stuck at home and not being able do to what I wanted to do, which I did a little bit. I wanna go when I wanna go and do what I wanna do and when you’ve got a boot and crutches it just hinders that and it will drive you nuts. That’s what drove me crazy, not being unable to be in a wrestling ring as I thought it would. I enjoyed the time, I enjoyed seeing my kids and my wife as it’s the first time I’ve been out this long in my career. So it kind of put things in perspective, like when retirement does come, I’m going to be ok. But I did go down to the performance centre and see these young, hungry kids and it inspired me to finish strong. Whenever I finish from now on, I want to finish strong. Being down there really helped my motivation.’
Styles will take on Seth Rollins for the new WWE world heavyweight championship at Night of Champions. The showdown is one of three matches being billed as the “Triple Main Event.” You can read more about that here.