Everton winger Andros Townsend suffered a season-ending torn ACL in their FA Cup defeat to Crystal Palace back in March. He made 23 appearances for the club last season after joining on a free transfer, scoring 7 goals and recording 4 assists. He has since undergone knee surgery and is focusing on his rehab.

The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is one of four knee ligaments. It runs through the middle of the knee and is the most important for stability. When it is damaged, it is almost always a complete tear that requires surgery.

Townsend’s father recently provided an update on his son, indicating he could be a long way away from making his first appearance of the season.

“He needs to get back and make the knee stronger and see where the season will take him, but it definitely won’t be the first half [of next season], I will imagine.”

“He’s always said that he’s never been a good patient and that he wants to get back out onto the field of play…I think the reality of this injury is that getting back out onto the field of play is going to be a long, long time away. Mentally, that takes a massive strain on you when you have been active so much, and it’s another part of being a professional footballer that you have to try and balance as much as you can.”

While these quotes don’t come with much optimism, it isn’t alarming given how much time has passed in Townsend’s recovery. Returning from a torn ACL typically takes around nine months, and then it takes even more time to truly get back to full strength. That means Townsend should target a return early in 2023.