For those of you who don’t know, I host a weekly Montreal Impact radio show called “Impact this Week” on tsn 690. The show airs every Monday evening at 7 p.m. ET. If you miss it live, you can always go back and listen to it on demand on the TSN 690 podcast page.
This week, Impact defender Jukka Raitala joined the show. You can listen to the full episode by clicking right here.
Here’s a portion of the chat we had on the air:
Joey Alfieri: How’s everybody doing at home?
Jukka Raitala: Everybody’s doing fine. We all have to stay home and make ourselves busy right now. That’s the case right now. It’s going fine so far.
JA: How have you guys been passing the time during this COVID-19 situation?
JR: I have a daughter that’s two-and-half years old. She keeps me very busy. She’s very excited that both her parents are home all the time. There’s plenty of things to do with her and that’s the most important right now, taking care of the family and trying to enjoy.
JA: How have you been dealing with the recovery from your broken fibula?
JR: I have my exercises I can do at home and I just received a spinning bike. I think that’s one step forward with my fracture. I’m not using the crutches anymore, so I’m walking with the boot. It’s going well. It’s good to have something in your mind. For me, it’s just to get myself healthy and see the improvement.
JA: You suffered the injury in the second leg against Saprissa and you managed to finish the first half. Did you know in the moment how bad the injury was?
JR: No, I didn’t. Sometimes in soccer you receive knocks, so this was just a massive knock and some muscle pain, but I thought it was just a massive knock and I could play through it. But, you know, I tried, I tried and maybe it wasn’t the best thing to do, but at half-time I just couldn’t do it anymore.
JA: Is that the worst injury you’ve ever played through?
JR: Pretty much. I fractured my finger once, so that’s nothing compared to this. That’s pretty much the worst injury I’ve gotten since I played professional soccer.
JA: Did you think that your spot on the Finnish National Team could be in jeopardy for Euro 2020?
JR: No, no, no. During that game (against Saprissa), with all the adrenaline and the injury happened early. You want to keep going and I didn’t want to quit. So, I didn’t think about that. Of course, when I saw the x-ray results and the fracture was there, of course, I was thinking right away, how long am I gonna be out?
It didn’t feel good, but I’m busy right now and I go forward daily. We all know the Euros will be played in 2021, so in that way it gives me extra time (to recover).
JA: Were you a little relieved when you saw that the tournament was postponed until 2021?
JR: Nah, I wouldn’t say so. I wasn’t worried. I think I’ll be fit around the end of April, I guess. So I was never really worried about that.
JA: How did Thierry Henry approach about being captain of this team?
JR: We were in Tampa and we had a meeting with the whole captaincy. Henry told me. He explained the situation in the team and he explained why he chose me. To be honest, I was very surprised, but also very honoured and happy at the same time. It was a nice feeling and I’m very proud to be the captain of the Impact. I think it’s a great challenge for myself to bring this team and club forward.
JA: Why do you think Henry chose you?
JR: He said it was because the way I was behaving with the team, the respect I have from other players. He aid he saw that already and very quickly. That was one of the main points for him.
(Feature Image Credit: USA Today Sports Images)