Elodie Godin is Bourges Basket’s gutsy captain and despite her pain, she is enjoying her final season.

You are having an unusual season…

It’s a bit complicated, but I’m lucky that the medical staff and the trainer accept my condition and manage me very well. You should know that I practice very, very little because I can’t anymore. I ruptured my Achilles tendon on the right side three years ago due to bursitis. (inflammation, editor’s note). Now it is on the left side.

So far, the tendon is healthy, but very painful. It is large and ignites very quickly. It’s hard to manage, but I’m doing it because it’s my last season. I want to finish well and give everything for the team.

But it’s true, sometimes it can be a little frustrating, because after 45 minutes, 1 hour of training, we have to stop me. I’d like to give a little more, but I can’t.

When did your pain start?

It has nothing to do with my previous injury. Last year, the coach let me play with Charnay (last game of the regular season, editor’s note) because the bursitis had started to flare up. It started getting worse from the playoff stage. I saw the surgeon who said there were two ways out: rest in the summer or surgery, but there was a break of 5-6 months, at 36, knowing that it was my last season… We preferred rest. It helped, but it came right back as soon as I regained fitness. I am lucky to be Mathilde (Merle-Saltel, club physiotherapist) who did a great job with me and Olivier (Lafargue, trainer) does not spare me much.

It must not be easy to be in this position where you train hard compared to your teammates…

From the beginning of the season, Olivier warned the group. I arrived long before the girls, during their selection. We were able to do a few tests to find out how many hours of training caused my tendon to flare up. We found a balance so that I could play in matches and train minimally. We found alternatives: bicycles, things that prevent friction. The girls accepted and did not complain. Sometimes they even make a mess.

I think they are happy that I can give what I give on the field. Anyway, I’ve never had a negative review. They understand, they know it’s an injury. That’s why people ask me, ‘Are you going to do another season?’ when asked, I answer “no, I won’t”. (laughs).

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How is this going?

Every day I have a calf protocol with solid, eccentric work so it doesn’t release at the tendon level. I massage a lot, because as soon as I exercise, the calf is tight. I have stretching and recovery. And cold, cold, cold. I have to practice the minimum: if we don’t practice, we don’t perform on weekends and Wednesdays, so we adapt.

Élodie Godin continues her rehabilitation: “I’m in time”

In counter-attack drills, I’m on the bike. I’m coming back for collective work. We are trying to finish my career in the best possible way. For now, it works. I haven’t missed a game since the beginning of the season. My goal is to miss zero and play my best. Sometimes I play a little less because I’m hot, but I try to give my best, it doesn’t show. People don’t even notice and don’t know what I go through on a daily basis.

It makes your season even more remarkable because it really doesn’t show…

It’s painful, but not serious, not a muscle injury, it can’t get any worse. I can play. It just hurts all the time.

We are in a period where you shoot in three interiors. Is your playing time important, not hampered by your injury?

No, you should already know that I take anti-inflammatories before every match because it’s mandatory… It allows me to have less pain while it’s hot. That’s why I ride a bike and do exercises when I sit on the bench. If I don’t put my foot down, I can’t start again. The next day or two hours after the match I’m limping.

Tango will be without Andy Miyem for a few weeks

Then, really, at the beginning of the season I played a lot, a little bit because sometimes I need a day or two to recover and we try to limit that so I can train. I was so happy when Andy did (my brain) returned. He brought us a spin and then did a lot on the floor. I was very disappointed for him and for us, but I am sure he will be back in a month, at the best of times.

Can you have fun on the field?

Absolutely, because it’s my last one. The girls tell me you only have four months left, but to be honest I don’t realize it yet and I’m enjoying it because I love what I do. If you don’t love, you don’t even hurt yourself

Potentially, this Saturday night is your last home game against Lattes (former club). Especially?

I don’t think so either. Maybe in the playoffs, but for now, I want us to finish the regular season in first place. I want us to perform.

Did your injury affect your decision to quit?

I made my decision after Christmas last year. I said to myself: “I’ll sign again for a year, then I’ll stop.” It was already done in my head, and when I do something, it usually ends. The pain came later. It validates my choice to quit.

“Every time she steps on the field, the investment she puts in and everything she can bring to us is remarkable. She lives up to the great lady she is, the whole career she’s had here. She sets an example for everybody. It’s crazy.”

Olivier Lafargue (About Burges Basket coach, Elodie Godin)

What was this choice about?

I’m not tired at all. I really like what I do. I love being in Burj. I was fine, but when I woke up in the morning, I was sore all over. I will be 38 years old soon. You have to know when to stop. My body is getting tired. I’ve spent 19 seasons in the pros, I think it’s great. I won a lot and I want to win more! Reaching the Final Four of the Championship, Coupe de France and Euroleague. I’ve never done that.

Elodie Godin, who does not give up on her injury, is the same as someone who does not give up on the field…

Yeah, I think that’s me. It hurts, but there is no medical risk, I can do it, so I go. This is my character, my character!

Interview by Ludovic Aurega

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