Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2011) 10, 731 - 736

Research article
Injury Incidence in a Spanish Sub-Elite Professional Football Team: A Prospective Study During Four Consecutive Seasons
Javier Mallo , Pablo González, Santiago Veiga, Enrique Navarro
Author Information
Faculty of Exercise and Sport Science, Technical University of Madrid, Spain

Javier Mallo
✉ Faculty of Exercise and Sport Science. Technical University of Madrid, Spain
Email: javier.mallo@upm.es
Publish Date
Received: 02-08-2011
Accepted: 21-10-2011
Published (online): 01-12-2011
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ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was to investigate the injury incidence and injury characteristics of a Spanish sub-elite professional football team during four consecutive seasons. A team was followed prospectively from the season 2003-2004 to 2006-2007 and individual player exposure and time loss injuries were recorded during all club training sessions and matches. A total of 313 time-loss injuries were recorded. The mean injury incidence was 10.9 injuries/1000 hours (5.2 injuries/1000 training hours and 44.1 injuries/1000 match hours). The injury incidence during competitive matches was higher (p < 0.001) than in friendly matches (55.8 vs. 22.6 injuries/1000 hours). The incidence of major injuries (>28 days absence) was 0.4 injuries/1000 hours. The thigh was the most commonly (35%) injured region and caused 29% of all competitive match absence. Muscle injuries in the four main groups of the lower limbs (hamstrings, adductors, quadriceps and calf muscles) caused 43% of competitive match unavailability. The results of this study show that the risk to sustain a major injury in the course of the season was low for sub- elite footballers in comparison to elite players. Thigh strains were the first cause of absence in competition due to injury.

Key words: Soccer, epidemiology, hamstrings, match play


           Key Points
  • The incidence of major injuries (absence greater than 4 weeks) was lower in a Spanish sub-elite football team than in elite European teams.
  • The risk of sustaining an injury was 2.5 fold higher (p < 0.001) in official than in friendly matches.
  • Lower limb muscular (hamstrings, quadriceps, hip adductors and calf muscles) and joint (knee and ankle) injuries were the main causes of match unavailability.
 
 
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