Players from 23 of the 50 best teams selected by UEFA served as the participants of the UEFA injury study the results of which were published yesterday.
Briefly, the aim of this study was to examine the injury characteristics in professional football players and to follow the variation of injury incidence during a match, during a season and over consecutive seasons. Hence, team medical staff recorded individual player exposure and time-loss injuries from for 7 consecutive years (2001 to 2008). The main findings were:
- Injury incidence rate was 8.0 injuries/1000 h.
- Injury incidence was higher during matches than in training.
- A player sustained on average 2.0 injuries per season, and a team with typically 25 players can thus expect about 50 injuries each season.
- Thigh strain was the most common injury subtype (17% of all injuries).
- Re-injuries constituted 12% of all injuries; they also resulted in longer absences than non re-injuries (24 vs 18 days).
- Match time was associated with injuries. Indeed, incidence of match injuries increased over time in both the first and second halves.
- In competitive season, traumatic injuries and hamstring strains were the most frequent.
- In pre-season, overuse injuries were the most common.
- Training and match injury incidences were stable over the period with no significant differences between seasons.