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 Are players in safe hands when we visit the treatment room? 
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Post Are players in safe hands when we visit the treatment room?
Are players in safe hands when we visit the treatment room?
by David James

The first surgery of my career has opened my eyes to football's medical side – and it is not pretty viewing.

"Injury-prone", labels for footballers who spend too much time off the pitch. I've never really questioned those stereotypes before but a recent operation on my shoulder – the first surgery of my career – has opened my eyes to the medical side of football, and it does not make for pretty viewing.

Last week I saw a specialist who said that his footballer clients continually voice concerns about the poor quality of treatment at their clubs – even at the highest level. It got me wondering: as players, are we in safe hands?

I have heard plenty of horror stories – a star player whose medical staff forgot to remove the pins from a broken bone, misdiagnoses that led to months of problems, outdated expertise and an overall archaic approach. Again and again I've been told about players who attempt to seek medical advice from outside their club and are either forced to pay their own costs, or refused co-operation with the treatment. And always the same conclusion – players being routinely rushed back on to the field before they are fit, only to break down again.

What I can't understand is why clubs who pay out millions in wages don't invest in the best physiotherapy available. Why risk bringing a player back too quickly, only for the problems to return? If you pay £80m for Cristiano Ronaldo, wouldn't you invest £15k in his physiotherapy? The sums don't add up.

As I see it football is once again lagging behind – physios are not up to date with the latest advances in medical care and too many appointments are still on the basis of "jobs for the boys". Factor in the pressure physios are under from managers and directors to get players back on the pitch and it's a dismal picture.

This got me thinking about Darren Anderton, casually labelled "sick note". Between 1992 and 2001, Anderton had two hernia operations, three groin injuries, three groin operations, two achilles injuries, one achilles operation, a knee injury and a hamstring problem. All of those are recurring soft-tissue problems – no broken bones – so why couldn't the medical department at Tottenham find a solution? If a footballer is getting the same injury over and again, then he's being brought back too quickly or his rehab is not being done properly.

What can the long-term effects be? Tommy Smith was the hardman of football at Liverpool, yet after a load of cortisone injections and repeatedly playing on through injuries he now needs a walking stick. There is the added complication of the players' desire not to miss games, telling the physios that things are "a bit sore, but it will be all right" – and risking long-term damage.

My injury happened 18 months ago with England, warming up on that plastic pitch, against Russia. At the time I knew I had hurt something, but I soldiered on – I was on the bench anyway. But over the next few months the soreness continued, and at times it was excruciating. I'd be saving shots and lying on the floor in agony; in the end I couldn't even do press-ups. Still, I told myself not to be soft.

It wasn't until six months ago I began to think it could be something serious. I insisted on having a scan and it showed a tear, with the specialists concerned that it could dislocate. There was no question that I needed an operation, but surgery would put me out of action for three months and Portsmouth were floating around the relegation zone, plus England had qualifiers that I didn't want to miss.

I considered delaying the surgery until after the World Cup, but the doctors said it was too great a risk. All I could think about was next season. I didn't want to miss the start of the new campaign and risk forfeiting a place in the World Cup squad. It was agreed with Portsmouth to have the operation once we were safe. But we kept losing games.

The situation was getting to me. I wasn't playing well and I began to understand what people mean by psychological effects of injury. As the operation was postponed again and again I had so many questions going round my head – how long would I take to recover? What if the surgeon made a mistake? What if I missed England games? What if I was never the same player again?

This summer those questions will still be going around my head, but at least I'll be doing something about it. I won't have a holiday break, I'll be spending my time rehabbing. And happily so; I'm working towards making sure I'm in the best possible shape for club and country.

The real concern for me is what happens to other players? I'm in the Premier League, but how will injured footballers lower down be treated? What about youth players? If top players don't always have their injuries scanned, then a club will be even less likely to spend £400 on an MRI scan for a reserve-team player. My fear is that too many footballers are in danger of becoming "Darren Andertons" and we, as a nation, will miss out on a real wealth of footballing talent.


26 thUTCp 2008
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Post Re: Are players in safe hands when we visit the treatment room?
great article i think, and a lot of valid points. we keep taking the term 'injury-prone' for granted. i never knew the problem was even deeper than this. i thought with all the money available plus the technological advancement in medical and healthcare, there wont be any problem in getting plyrs fit. something needs to be done i think..


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Post Re: Are players in safe hands when we visit the treatment room?
Loque wrote:
great article i think, and a lot of valid points. we keep taking the term 'injury-prone' for granted. i never knew the problem was even deeper than this. i thought with all the money available plus the technological advancement in medical and healthcare, there wont be any problem in getting plyrs fit. something needs to be done i think..


yes i agree.. it's a great article.. that's y i posted it here.. and thanks as always for reading it..

this article somehow gave me another perspective of what's really happening to those injury prone players.. i guess, not everyone is fortunate to get an A class treatment everytime they're injured.. and as much as ppl are crazy about buying new players.. i think the clubs should also consider having the best medical & health care services for players.. it would be a shame, if they are not given a proper treatment .. as i think.. most injury-prone players are good, quality players but are denied of becoming a much better player by being injured most of the time..


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Post Re: Are players in safe hands when we visit the treatment room?
Fasha wrote:
Loque wrote:
great article i think, and a lot of valid points. we keep taking the term 'injury-prone' for granted. i never knew the problem was even deeper than this. i thought with all the money available plus the technological advancement in medical and healthcare, there wont be any problem in getting plyrs fit. something needs to be done i think..


yes i agree.. it's a great article.. that's y i posted it here.. and thanks as always for reading it..

this article somehow gave me another perspective of what's really happening to those injury prone players.. i guess, not everyone is fortunate to get an A class treatment everytime they're injured.. and as much as ppl are crazy about buying new players.. i think the clubs should also consider having the best medical & health care services for players.. it would be a shame, if they are not given a proper treatment .. as i think.. most injury-prone players are good, quality players but are denied of becoming a much better player by being injured most of the time..

true. and regarding these injury-prone plyrs, could it be the clubs fault in not giving enuff treatment, and rushing them too quickly to return to the field? its a cycle, a plyr gets injured, goes for treatment but not enuff/not good enuff, gets rushed back in half-fit, then get himself injured again coz he's not fully fit, then repeat again...


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Post Re: Are players in safe hands when we visit the treatment room?
Loque wrote:
true. and regarding these injury-prone plyrs, could it be the clubs fault in not giving enuff treatment, and rushing them too quickly to return to the field? its a cycle, a plyr gets injured, goes for treatment but not enuff/not good enuff, gets rushed back in half-fit, then get himself injured again coz he's not fully fit, then repeat again...


yea.. it kept happening again & again and before we knew it.. that player's condition is getting worse than it should have been..


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Post Re: Are players in safe hands when we visit the treatment room?
Fasha wrote:
Loque wrote:
true. and regarding these injury-prone plyrs, could it be the clubs fault in not giving enuff treatment, and rushing them too quickly to return to the field? its a cycle, a plyr gets injured, goes for treatment but not enuff/not good enuff, gets rushed back in half-fit, then get himself injured again coz he's not fully fit, then repeat again...


yea.. it kept happening again & again and before we knew it.. that player's condition is getting worse than it should have been..

i hope this is not the case at utd. i dont want to think that this is the reason why foster and saha got injured so much... :8


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Post Re: Are players in safe hands when we visit the treatment room?
Loque wrote:
Fasha wrote:
Loque wrote:
true. and regarding these injury-prone plyrs, could it be the clubs fault in not giving enuff treatment, and rushing them too quickly to return to the field? its a cycle, a plyr gets injured, goes for treatment but not enuff/not good enuff, gets rushed back in half-fit, then get himself injured again coz he's not fully fit, then repeat again...


yea.. it kept happening again & again and before we knew it.. that player's condition is getting worse than it should have been..

i hope this is not the case at utd. i dont want to think that this is the reason why foster and saha got injured so much... :8


i can't say anything about this as i didn't have the necessary info on it.. i hope we have the best medical & health care for all our players.. with that big amount of money we get.. the club should spend it on physiotherapy as well.. many ppl may not even care.. but i think this is very essential to ensure we can compete well in all competition..


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Post Re: Are players in safe hands when we visit the treatment room?
Fasha wrote:
Loque wrote:
Fasha wrote:
Loque wrote:
true. and regarding these injury-prone plyrs, could it be the clubs fault in not giving enuff treatment, and rushing them too quickly to return to the field? its a cycle, a plyr gets injured, goes for treatment but not enuff/not good enuff, gets rushed back in half-fit, then get himself injured again coz he's not fully fit, then repeat again...


yea.. it kept happening again & again and before we knew it.. that player's condition is getting worse than it should have been..

i hope this is not the case at utd. i dont want to think that this is the reason why foster and saha got injured so much... :8


i can't say anything about this as i didn't have the necessary info on it.. i hope we have the best medical & health care for all our players.. with that big amount of money we get.. the club should spend it on physiotherapy as well.. many ppl may not even care.. but i think this is very essential to ensure we can compete well in all competition..

i willing to apply. i'll do a great job


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Post Re: Are players in safe hands when we visit the treatment room?
Loque wrote:
true. and regarding these injury-prone plyrs, could it be the clubs fault in not giving enuff treatment, and rushing them too quickly to return to the field? its a cycle, a plyr gets injured, goes for treatment but not enuff/not good enuff, gets rushed back in half-fit, then get himself injured again coz he's not fully fit, then repeat again...
Sometimes it can't be helped. If they have weak knees, no matter what they do, it would still get 'broken' again. Saha, Owen, Ronaldo.. explosive players. The way they play, the body just couldn't cope with the acceleration/power. Giggsy with his hamstring.. had to change his diet and the way he plays to prevent him getting injured too much.

I would be surprised if any of the top teams don't put too much focus on their players health. With the multimillion pound involve, they surely would try and keep their players as healthy as possible to help the team win points, and in return $$. In the lower leagues, maybe..


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Post Re: Are players in safe hands when we visit the treatment room?
maybe these injury prone players need their own physio/specialist after all


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Post Re: Are players in safe hands when we visit the treatment room?
nazq wrote:
maybe these injury prone players need their own physio/specialist after all

macam org gaji ke?


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Post Re: Are players in safe hands when we visit the treatment room?
Loque wrote:
nazq wrote:
maybe these injury prone players need their own physio/specialist after all

macam org gaji ke?


org gaji?


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Post Re: Are players in safe hands when we visit the treatment room?
Fasha wrote:
Loque wrote:
nazq wrote:
maybe these injury prone players need their own physio/specialist after all

macam org gaji ke?


org gaji?

merujuk pd point nazq. sebenar, ianya dimaksudkn sebagai separuh joke... :|


26 thUTCp 2008
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Post Re: Are players in safe hands when we visit the treatment room?
Loque wrote:
Fasha wrote:
Loque wrote:
nazq wrote:
maybe these injury prone players need their own physio/specialist after all

macam org gaji ke?


org gaji?

merujuk pd point nazq. sebenar, ianya dimaksudkn sebagai separuh joke... :|


ok.. yeke? xperasan plak bnde tu separuh joke..


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Post Re: Are players in safe hands when we visit the treatment room?
Fasha wrote:
Loque wrote:
Fasha wrote:
Loque wrote:
nazq wrote:
maybe these injury prone players need their own physio/specialist after all

macam org gaji ke?


org gaji?

merujuk pd point nazq. sebenar, ianya dimaksudkn sebagai separuh joke... :|


ok.. yeke? xperasan plak bnde tu separuh joke..

:8


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