Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin ruptured the cruciate ligament in his left knee against Chelsea in January 2019, and he didn’t return to action until after nine months.
He also suffered a tear to his right groin while doing additional drills ahead of the Gunners’ Premier League clash against Newcastle United in February, and both injuries have seen him struggle to return to full fitness since.
Bellerin has started just seven Premier League games this season, with the last one coming in February.
In his absence, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has deployed Sokratis at right-back, but with Premier League action currently suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Spaniard could attain full fitness prior to resumption.
However, if Bellerin will be able to return to his optimum performance level remains to be seen, and Arsenal staff have their fears.
According to The Athletic’s James McNicholas, some of them harbour concerns his vegan diet may not be giving him the best chance of returning to his optimum performance level as he continues his rehabilitation from the knee ligament injury he suffered against Chelsea.
The 25-year-old has maintained a vegan diet since 2016 after learning going vegan might reduce the inflammation in his body, decreasing pain levels and aiding his recovery in the process.
However, while initial results were good, he has struggled to maintain fitness and form in recent years, and people are already questioning his choice.
Arsenal remain supportive of Bellerin’s choice, though, and they continue to offer vegan meals for him. He also has a personal chef that provides him highly-tailored meals at home, and it will be interesting to see if maintaining his diet can help him return to top fitness on a permanent basis going forward.