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Trauma in Tallinn taxi accident may end Estonian footballer Oper's career

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PHOTO: PETER DEJONG/AP

A trauma suffered by Estonian midfielder Andres Oper in a car accident in Tallinn in May may jeopardize the continuation of his career as a football player, the daily Ohtuleht said.

«I'd just arrived here for matches of the national team. I and a friend of mine were sitting in the back seat of a taxi at a red light when suddenly there was a bang real loud. At first I didn't get at all what had happened,» said Oper, who plays for the Cyprior club Nea Salamis Famagusta FC.

«It was a crash powerful enough – I got pieces of shattered glass into my face, the bus that had crashed into the back of our car moved on onto the pedestrian crossing. I don't know, It looked like its brakes didn't work at all,» Oper, 34, told Ohtuleht.

He said that one of his shoulders, which felt somehow strange at the start, gave off serious pain the next day. The doctor of the Estonian national side, Kaspar Roivassepp, immediately conducted an examination of Oper which revealed that the hand effectively didn't move at all in one direction. An MRI showed surgery to be inevitable.

In the surgery a week later surgeon Madis Rahu inserted three screws in the joint. «The shoulder was quite into pieces indeed,» Oper said.

Roivassepp said that full recovery may take from three to four months. While an injury like this definitely won't end a sportsman's career, in this case other factors such as age and contractual matters have to be taken into consideration. «That a person in a state of shock after an accident doesn't feel much pain and pain starts to be felt only later is quite usual,» the physician said.

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