Turner: My injury will make me stronger
Manchester United Women centre-back Millie Turner is back in training following her six-month absence from Marc Skinner’s squad through injury.
The defender suffered a rare condition known as a carotid artery dissection last season, which forced her to halt all physical activity for the remainder of the campaign.
Now, with help from club doctors and medical experts, Turner has made a fully recovery.
In an exclusive interview with club media, the 26-year-old said: “I’m so happy. It’s been a really tough journey for me personally and just to be able to get my boots back on and get back on the pitch is an unbelievable feeling. I’m just so happy at the moment.”
Turner: My journey away from the pitch
We're proud of United Women's Millie Turner, who opens up about her recent journey away from the pitch...
In our sit-down chat with Millie, she details what the condition is, explaining that one of her main arteries from her heart to her brain had torn.
“For me, it started with a – I could hear a heartbeat in my ear,” she said. “And I thought ‘what’s that?’ Like it’s just getting on my nerves. So, I mentioned it to the doctor. He said ‘right let’s keep an eye on it. We’ll make sure that we keep checking it and if it gets any worse let me know.’”
At the time, the Reds were preparing for a trip to West Ham in the WSL, but after the game was called off, the squad had an in-house friendly, during which Millie recalls her symptoms began to become more apparent.
She said: “My speech was slurring a little bit, the heartbeat in my ear was getting a lot worse and then yeah, I just couldn’t really focus, and I thought ‘something’s not right here’ and I told the doctor straight away.
"He booked me in for a load of other tests and yeah literally the next day after that, I found out that I had this injury.”
Turner was told to stop all physical activity immediately, and was on the sidelines for six months.
Now, at the end of her own recovery, Millie wants to highlight this condition so that others can identify it early, like she did.
She said: “I want to use this opportunity to try and raise as much awareness as I can so if anyone feels any sort of symptoms [or] if you recognise that a family member is presenting any of these symptoms. I think it is so important to just try and get any help that you can.
“Don’t feel stupid about it, because I’m so grateful that I had the support to be able to catch it early. Luckily, I’m back on the pitch and I can continue with my normal life.”
New faces in trainingGallery
See Grace Clinton and Maya Le Tissier with their Reds team-mates for the first time, as our pre-season work continues.
The centre-back is back in pre-season training for the Reds now, as she continues to build up her fitness ahead of the new season. While she’s getting physically stronger, Turner believes that this experience will also make her mentally tougher.
“I just need to use this season to get back to how I was playing,” she said. “I think I will use this experience going forward to hopefully make myself and my performance stronger.
“Not a lot of people go through what I’ve been through, and hopefully I can use that to my advantage.”