U.S. Under-20 National Team

Packwood suffers badly broken leg in FA Cup



Young American defender Will Packwood has had his promising first season with Birmingham City cut short after suffering a horrific leg break during the club’s FA Cup third-round loss to Leeds United on Saturday.

Packwood, 19, suffered a broken tibia and fibula after a collision with Leeds striker Luciano Becchio. An injury that will end his first season as a pro.

Packwood had enjoyed a promising first season with the Blues, making five first-team appearances in League Championship play.

It is too early to know just how long Packwood will need to recover, but he will miss the remainder of the current English season and looks very unlikely to be a part of the U.S. Under-20 World Cup team (assuming the team qualifies for the World Cup). The Under-20 World Cup starts on June 21st. Packwood was expected to be a key figure on the U.S. Under-20 World Cup team.

UPDATE– Packwood provided some insight into the severity of his injury via Twitter, delivering this message on Sunday morning in England:

For those asking, it appears I have a double tib+fib fracture. Broken in as many as four places. Long road to recover…but not impossible!


What do you think of this development? Who do you see picking up the slack on the U.S. Under-20 national team?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Nick

    Terrible news. Just hope its not as bad as Aaron Ramsey a couple years back when his was broken in 6 places


  • MMV

    As I understand it, Will and Becchio challenged for a header and collided. No malice whatsoever. He landed on one leg which unfortunately had all his weight on it. Several teammates and opponents were in tears as he was stretchered off the pitch. It was pretty gruesome, according to reports.

    I was in attendance when Zakuani broke his leg. It was very surreal. My heart just sank and I was completely frozen, speechless. I feel for Packwood. All the national team stuff is secondary at the moment. I just pray the injury isn’t career threatening.


  • Old School

    First objective: Quality of life.
    Second objective: Quality of form regained.

    Take your time, Will.


  • Dennis

    If it is a simple break, he should be walking on it in 6 weeks. Then some rehab to get function and return to training, in another 2-4 weeks, If it is more complicated and requires surgery, it could take a lot longer. Good luck to him.


    • Jon

      Packwood stated on his Twitter account that it’s broken in four places. Surgery this morning.

      That’s hard to even imagine. Poor guy.


  • 20

    I was also there when Preston Burpo broke his leg, and it was absolutely horrifying. I remember Sainey Nyassi lying on the ground in utter despair. This is a really tough thing to happen to such a young guy, really hope he bounces back. Get well soon.


  • Alex C

    I wonder what the injury rates are for different leagues for injuries such as this. I would like to see a comparison of the English,Spanish, Italian, German, and French leagues for example. I know these kinds of things happen in every league, but I wonder how things like the style of play and the number of games (including competitions such as the FA Cup) in a season impact this. It would seem a more frenetic pace such as we see in the Premier League (and also the Championship League) compared to, say, the Italian league could lead to more injuries.
    I hear a lot more about his type of injury in the English leagues, but that also may be just because I hear more about the English leagues in general.
    I found this 2005 article “Methods for epidemiological study of injuries to professional football players: developing the UEFA model”. Unfortunately it says “A problem with epidemiological studies of football injuries is the inconsistent manner in which injury is defined and data are collected. Projects have been initiated to study the incidence and causes of injury in football, but there is no uniformly accepted reporting system.”


  • Miguel Rubio

    Devastating but not the end of the world.

    Packwood needs to get his head around this, dedicate himself to rehab and focus on coming back a better, smarter, stronger player.


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  • G. Lebowski

    I suffered an identical injury from rugby. I assume he will have an open reduction surgery soon and be in a cast for about 8 weeks. I came back fine and was 29 when it happened. I suffered no loss in speed — though I would occasionally have some swelling near my ankle after vigorous activity. Best of luck to you Will. The pain is really bad for the first week but goes away after that.


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