Im a 26 year old who regularly plays sports and goes to the gym 3 to 5 times a week. Last year I had a spell injured due to a Sciatica issue with tight muscles in my glutes causing stress on my sciatic nerve which resulted in me being unable to play sports etc for roughly 12 weeks.
I overcame this with self-physio and exercise stretching in my hamstrings, calfes and glutes. Everything has been fine since up until my last pre season friendly for my Sunday league team 5 weeks ago.
I had a quick burst of speed off the mark to close someone down where I felt a twinge in my hamstring slightly to the left of my left knee.
I could play on for almost an hour but with it pulling when i would sprint. roughly an hour later I stretched for the ball and i felt a sharp pain in the middle of my hamstring, completely different location as i had originally felt.
I did a little research and diagnosed it as a grade 1 strain of the bicep femoris as i had no bruising and was able to walk without a limp.
I rested my hamstring for a week and i felt fine, could jog and walk with zero pain. So i played the following Sunday only to last literally 5 minutes as i ran for the ball, (again quick burst of speed) and i felt a ''pop'' in my left hamstring in the centre again and a sharp feeling to the left of my knee, It seems its the area where the ligaments are visable when you tense your hamstring to the outside of my left knee.
this seemed more severe as my first injury but not as severe as a grade 2 as their was no bruising and i was able to jog again 2 days after the injury.
Again, I researched on physio for hamstring strains and how to deal with them and 2 weeks of rest, Ice, compression, stretching and strengthening exercises, i felt 100% and decided to play this Sunday gone...
I warmed up and was able to sprint with ZERO pain so i decided to start. within the first 5 minutes, i done a tight turn moving the weight from my right foot to my left and i sprinted off the mark to stretch for the ball to feel i slight ''pop'' again, not as severe as it 2 weeks ago but still i couldn't sprint and the areas of pain was in the belly of my hamstring and again to the outside of my left knee in or around the ligaments of the hamstring that attaches to the knee.
when i went off, i sat down and tried to get up only to feel my calf feels like a dead leg on the outside of it, pain in my hamstring and i cannot walk without a limp.
I am unsure if i was clattered into someone at the time of impact when i ''popped'' my hamstring but it was a stretching tackle that caused my hamstring.
Is their a link with hamtring strains and calf injuries?
what exercises to strengthen my hamstrings would you reccommend?
EDIT: pic uploaded is my left hamstring. noticed a vain-like bruise at the area of pain after 4 hours of Iceing.
any other advice is welcome.