Injury First Person POV: Broken Big Toes Aren't Fun For Soccer Players

May 13, 2012; Chester, PA, USA; Philadelphia Union forward Chandler Hoffman (12) takes a shot against the New York Red Bulls during the second half at PPL Park. The Red Bulls won the game 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-US PRESSWIRE

Two broken toes have left the Philadelphia Union with a weakened team heading into John Hackworth's second game as head coach.

Without Sheanon Williams (right big toe), the Union back line will most likely feature rookie right back Raymon Gaddis, midfielder Amobi Okugo at center back, captain Carlos Valdes and Gabriel Farfan in front of Zac MacMath. No Chandler Hoffman (left big toe) means that Philadelphia's hybrid 4-3-3 will most likely have only Lionard Pajoyon the bench as a back up.

However, the question of how Williams and Hoffman will be affected by the injuries in the long run was the main concern after the news came out about both of their toes. WebMD said that the typical recovery time for a broken toe is six weeks, which would put Hoffman and Williams' full strength date at around August 4.

The Brotherly Game talked to a former high school and college soccer player, who asked not to be named in this article, about her experiences with playing with a broken big toe.

A broken toe is hard to play with and the speed of healing depends on the person. A broken big toe is almost impossible to play with at such a high level because when you run you push of with your big toe.

Three weeks before my senior season, I was excited for the final season of my high school career. I was entering the season with high team and personal expectations.

I was playing indoor soccer with the boys team, and the next thing I know I'm hopping off and my foot hurt really bad. I heard a loud crack and knew it wasn't good.

I went to the doctor a few days later and got the worst possible news I could receive. I had a broken right big toe and was also diagnosed with turf toe.

The doctor and I had a conversation about playing and what would happen now that we knew what was wrong. The first was that I would let it heal, but that meant missing my entire senior season - that was never an option I had considered).

The second was take the few weeks - about 17 days - off an then try to play and run. Fast forward a few weeks and I worked with the athletic trainer to tape my toe.

First day of preseason, I tried to run and lasted five minutes. The pain of running and playing didn't get any easier. On April 1, 2003, I went back to the doctor's office to receive my first shot.

I remember te day because it snowed. The bone healed enough to finally get a cortisone shot in my joint to deal with the turf toe. The pain of running and kicking a soccer ball was not easy to overcome.

After playing my freshman year of college I had the bunion and turf toe fixed.

When I played most of my senior season I was taped so heavily so I couldn't bend my toe and only ran on the side of my foot.

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