Full Recovery After A Serious Knee Injury And Then Ranked 26th In The World Badminton

Linda Zetchiri was born in 1987 and has been playing badminton since 1999. She is a talented European competitor in badminton from Bulgaria.

After five very successful years in Denmark (ranked 55th in the world), she got a very serious knee injury and returned to her home country. In October 2006, a piece of the cartilage of her knee joint was removed surgically. As a result of the injury, her left knee, which is also her active knee (she is left-handed), could not bend and endure loading at more than 90 degrees.

Milko Georgiev is teaching Linda Zetchiri to do Side Press
Milko Georgiev is teaching Linda Zetchiri to do Side Press

Her doctor told her that this was the end of her professional sport career. In the next seven months Linda went through difficult moments and tried to recover from the injury to continue competing. Looking for a strength and conditioning coach in Bulgaria, she found Milko Georgiev on 2 July 2007 and he took over her recovery. From the very beginning, even though she was on the way out of the Top 100, Milko had the ambition to get her back in the world sport and to build a condition that will bring her more success than she had had before the injury.

June 2007

Her athletic condition was poor. Her body fat was 20%, which was lowering the relative athletic indicators and was adding load on her injured knee. Her left leg had atrophied in her attempt to spare it and she had built a habit of transferring the load on her right one.

Date Weight Lean Body Mass Fat Mass Fat %
4 Jun 2007 63 kg 50.5 kg 12.5 kg 19.8%
Squat with the correct technique was critical during the recovery
Squat with the correct technique was critical during the recovery

Milko started Linda on high-intensity training with weights and High-Fat Low-Carb nutrition. She had zero experience with free weights training, so learning the correct technique of lifting was of uttermost importance. But the most important thing was to find a correct way to work with her injured knee. As usual, the doctors had forbidden any physical work, which would lead to atrophy of the muscles and leave her kinetically unprotected. Functionally the strong muscles take the load and offload the joints. Ignoring this basic athletic law, many athletes get injuries sooner or later.

July 2007

The training was conducted online, while Linda was at a badminton training camp in Malaysia, getting ready for the world championship there.

August 2007

The dynamic indicators after 3 months of training with free weights increased significantly.

Standing long jump Vertical jump One-step long jump Medicine ball throw
+21cm +5cm +14cm +25cm

September 2007

After 4 months of correct nutrition and training Linda decreased her body fat by 4 % and gained 0.5 kg of Lean Body Mass.

Date Weight Lean Body Mass Fat Mass Fat %
12 Jul 2007 62.0 kg 50.2 kg 11.8 kg 19.0%
28 Aug 2007 61.5 kg 51.0 kg 10.5 kg 17.0%
26 Sep 2007 60.5 kg 50.8 kg 9.7 kg 16.0%

October 2007

Introducing dynamic and ballistic exercises. Increase of the work volume to increase her strength endurance.

Fat Mass increased after bad nutrition during the 5 weeks travel for badminton camps in Europe. This decreases the relative strength and puts more stress on the injured knee. Linda needs to be more responsible.

Date Weight Lean Body Mass Fat Mass Fat %
6 Nov 2007 63.5 kg 51.2 kg 12.3 kg 19.3%

November 2007

Introducing dynamic exercises with resistance. Improvement and directions for changes in her footwork.

December 2007

Linda has reached a very good level of strength in both legs. She can do lunges, with consideration of the injury, with 60 kg added weight. Six months ago the doctors put a complete ban on training with weights. They avoided taking responsibility and ignored the power of training in recovering one’s health. Atrophy of the muscles will not help or heal anyone. Milko’s job is to take responsibility. Today, Linda’s injured knee is stronger and more protected than ever.

January 2008

Linda’s legs are already strong enough and we have introduced plyometric exercises. She reached a very good level of strength in the upper body and the core.

February 2008

Introducing running exercises and running.


After 10 months working with Milko, Linda is with a fully recovered functioning left knee. Now she has an excellent strength and condition preparation, which allows her to achieve success with her high sport-specific technical skills.

July 2010 – Enter Top 30 in the world

Linda is 28th in the world. The goal that Milko set 3 years ago is accomplished.

March 2011 – Linda is 26th in the world

Milko Georgiev and Linda Zetchiri - the singles champion of Bulgaria Open World Championship 2011
Milko Georgiev and Linda Zetchiri – the singles champion of Bulgaria Open World Championship 2011

26th place is her highest in the Badminton World Ranking.

October 2014 – 27th place
August 2015 – 34th place
April 2016 – 44th place

Her knee still serves her well.

About Milko Georgiev

Milko has 15 years experience as а performance coach and nutrition adviser in Europe. He has certified 30 master personal trainers (AQF Level 5 to 9) in his own fitness academy. His work includes conditioning Olympic athletes, entrepreneurs, celebrities, injured people, fitness enthusiasts and busy people in search of fat loss, functional performance and improved health. Milko is a Black Belt in Taekwondo and a medalist at national championships. He maintains his body fat under 7% all year round in a completely natural way.