48 HOURS TO GO: PATRICK RACES CLOCK

When Patrick Paauwe limped off in Sunday’s draw with RKC, things looked bleak for the Dutch international. Just four days before the clash with Inter Milan and Feyenoord’s influential centre back could hardly walk. Patrick himself admits to being extremely frustrated about the way things have gone, but hasn’t given up hope of running out Thursday. ‘I really hope so, because I obviously don’t want to miss a semifinal and certainly not when it’s in the San Siro. I’ve never played there.’

Patrick explains, ‘An injury always comes at the wrong time, that’s obvious. But it could hardly be worse than now – four days before Inter vs. Feyenoord. I twisted my left ankle badly Sunday against RKC. When it happened I didn’t immediately realise that it was all wrong, I didn’t feel anything snap or so. My only thought was to play out the first half and recover at half time. But it got worse and we decided not to take any risks.’ The ankle swelled up fast and left Paauwe with a bulge as big as an Easter egg. The race against time began. ‘I’ve now had icepacks, exercises and treatments from the medical staff for the last two days and I am a lot more positive now. Bit by bit things are going better and the worst swelling has gone. At the moment we’re doing everything we can to make sure I can play on Thursday. I am optimistic.’

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