Wednesday, October 20

– It was fucking strange


He didn’t just lose the Olympics. Gøran Johannessen (27) is still far from the handball court. It will take at least a month to heal the groin injury of the key player of the national team.

LOST: Gøran Johannessen was not allowed to play the Olympics for Norway.

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– It has been very difficult to miss some of the best things that I was able to experience as an athlete. The Olympics have been one of my biggest dreams, says Gøran Johannessen to VG. He had to return home from Japan in July, just before the fire was lit in Tokyo.

Not ready to play yet. Neither Johannessen nor Magnus Abelvik Rød were on the pitch when the Flensburg-Handewitt club lost the Champions League opener against Barcelona on Thursday. The Norwegian duo will also not play the big game against Sander Sagosens Kiel on Sunday.

A tendon in Johannessen’s right groin has been partially torn out. If the tear had been three millimeters larger, it would have been operated. But now the defender’s injury is being treated conservatively. He is followed by a groin injury expert in Berlin and knows more after a consultation next week.

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For now, Gøran Johannessen hopes to return to the field on October 20. But he emphasizes that the prognosis is uncertain.

– It may take longer. I’ve had this injury for a long time and I put too much pressure on him, he explains.

He was injured in November 2020 and felt the problems in his groin when he played the World Cup with the national team in January. In the quarterfinals of the Champions League last spring, it got really troublesome.

Christian Berge still took Johannessen to pre-camp in Japan. But in the training match against Sweden three days before the Olympic opening, he said full stop. Gøran Johannessen fully believed and exacerbated the injury to his right groin.

The mood was better after the bronze of the European Championship in 2020:

– The positive is that now I have received a diagnosis. I have spent so much time with this not knowing that I have more of a groin strain. I tried to take this as far as possible when Flensburg fought for league gold in Germany and for a place in the semi-finals of the Champions League. It was too far. I was lame from day one in the run-up to the Olympics, he describes.

Now the start of the season goes by without him. Gøran Johannessen only does adaptive strength training and has not coached handball since July. Take the time to be completely injury free.

– I have had a lot of time from the club to fully recover instead of continuing to play at 60-70 percent of capacity. It is a patch on the wound after everything that has happened, he says and has good hopes of playing the European Championship with Norway in January.

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Magnus Abelvik Rød was unlucky before one of the training matches. He injured his knee during the warm-up. The patellar scene has gotten a bang and it may be weeks before the fullback makes his season debut.

Norway was strong on paper before the Olympics. But when Gøran Johannessen disappeared, the last row got a little too thin. Norway finished fourth in the group stage and lost to Denmark in the quarter-finals.

– I humbly believe that he would have contributed to the team, says the man from Stavanger with 84 caps and two silver medals at the World Cup.


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