Why Mahlambi Took His Brother's Hamstring
Phakamani Mahlambi’s incredible start to life as a professional footballer was dealt a heavy blow by injury this year, but his brother’s sacrifice is helping him recover.
The 18-year-old burst onto the scene in the Absa Premiership last year after being given the nod by head coach, Gavin Hunt, however both his hopes for the season and the Olympic Games were dashed after he sustained a knee injury that required surgery.
Mahlambi’s problem is usually one that is solved by taking part of the hamstring to help repair the knee ligament, however that often results in the player losing some of his pace.
In order to stop the teenager losing his explosiveness – a critical part of his game – it was suggested that, rather than using his own hamstring, he used that of a family member, and his brother duly put himself forward. An incredible show of support for the South African youth international.
Speaking to FIFA TV about the situation, Mahlambi said, “They said the best operation is to take my father’s hamstring, but that was difficult for me because he’s too old for that. The other option they offered was to ask if one of my siblings could donate a hamstring for me, and my brother did that. He’s a good brother, a very good one.”
The process for his recovery is a long arduous one, and there is still a chance that he may not even play again in 2016, however, his brother’s sacrifice means that, when he does return, he may still have the pace that has been so crucial to his dramatic rise and growing reputation.