Soccer-‘Miracle man’ Witsel back for Belgium after determined recovery

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Axel Witsel has been hailed as Belgium’s “miracle man” after his sooner-than-expected return from a serious Achilles tendon injury, but he said his recovery came with doubt and sacrifice.

The midfielder tore his tendon in early January in Bundesliga action with Borussia Dortmund and, after surgery, was told it could take up to nine months before he played again.

But a determined approach to rehabilitation allowed him to accelerate the healing, culminating in a second half appearance against Denmark in the European Championship on Thursday – months ahead of schedule.

Belgium were trailing in their Group B match in Copenhagen but with Witsel, Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard coming on after the break, they came back for a second Euro 2020 win.

“Maybe it wasn’t the ideal match to come back,” Witsel told a news conference on Friday. “It would have been better if we were…

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