The impact of playing in matches while injured on injury surveillance findings in professional football
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AbstractThis study aimed to analyze the frequency, nature, and consequences of footballers playing matches while injured, and to examine the impact on injury surveillance findings. High levels of inter-rater reliability and content validity were established for a tool designed to document players who were already injured at the start of a match. The tool was implemented in three English football teams (a Championship, League 1, and League 2 team) for one season, using a "time loss" definition of injury. One hundred forty-three matches were surveyed, revealing 102 match appearances by players who were already injured. Almost half of all games featured at least one injured player, with episodes of playing with injury occurring more frequently and lasting longer in League 2 players compared with higher level players. No association was observed between the number of injured players starting matches and match outcome [χ2(4, N=143)=3.27, P=0.514]. Fifteen percent of all injury episodes captured were only through prospective documentation of playing while injured. The findings show that both traumatic and overuse injuries are managed by footballers through competitive matches, and have important implications for aiding understanding of the epidemiology of injury in professional football..
CitationHammond L, Lilley J, Pope G, Ribbans W (2014) 'The impact of playing in matches while injured on injury surveillance findings in professional football', Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 24 (3), pp.e195-e200.