Following an ankle injury that held him back from competing at the 2018 FIVB World Championships, Bulgaria‘s starting national team setter Georgi Bratoev is expecting to be back playing volleyball in the next few months. He plays for Lukoil in the Bulgarian professional league – which helped arrange and pay for his surgery, in conjunction with the Bulgarian Federation, conducted by the team surgeon for famous football (soccer) club Real Madrid.
“I am fine,” Bratoev told sportal.bg. “I’m getting back up and things are doing pretty well. I hope to play volleyball in the next two months,”
In June of this year during a match against Australia at the FIVB Nations League, Bratoev landed on Australian Paul Sanderson’s foot and fell to the court. After being removed by stretcher there was suspicion that his ankle was broken.
Prior to his MRI results, it was reported that Bratoev’s injury was not serious and that it was likely he’d return to play in time for the world championships.
Two weeks later Bratoev was listed on the Bulgarian roster for the Volleyball Nations League, although not in a starting position, he was expected to return. He didn’t end up playing in any further games. He sat dressed on the bench.
After an MRI revealed that Bratoev had a broken foot, he was still expected to compete at the World Championships. After it was eventually announced in later July that Bratoev would not be competing at the World Championships prior to his surgery, Real Madrid doctor performed the surgery to repair the broken bone in his ankle in August 6th. The surgery was a success.
With two months of recovery completed, Bratoev says that he expects to be back competing early January.
“There is no concrete about deadlines,” Bratoev said. “It all depends on the body and how I recover. The beginning of January 2019 is a realistic forecast to return to the field. I hope all goes according to plan.”