Leading sports medicine and orthopaedic consultant Dr Ralph Rogers is warning of the risk to clubs at the start of the 2018/19 season of ‘wear and tear’ to football players suffering from tournament hangover.
This season, Premier League clubs will have played between 40 and 50 matches, depending on cup success and with up to 150 Premiership players travelling to Russia for the World Cup, the risk of muscle injury to tired players is very real.
The Premier League campaign drew to a close on May 13 and the new season is due to begin on August 11. This leaves only a small window of time for players to recover. Dr Rogers said: “I have based this on both statistics and on my knowledge of the incident rate of injury, the latest treatment techniques and necessary physical recovery time.
“Tournament hangover is a real phenomenon and it can affect the top teams and players. There is no doubt that, after a season of around 60 matches for the most successful teams, major summer competitions can affect players’ performance the following season and fans might wish to consider this when a winter break is discussed.”
Dr Rogers, who has worked with a number of high-profile teams across differing sports and is currently a medical adviser to the NBA, added: “I am confident medical technology can see our players through; other sports cope with similar demands at the top level. But the data does not lie and will be helpful in fan chatter, both during the World Cup and at the start of next season when it’s possible some of the fancied teams will get off to a sluggish start.”
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