n International SportMed Journal - Injuries among professional soccer players of different age groups : a prospective four-year study in an English Premier League Football Club : research article




&lt;I&gt;Background:&lt;/I&gt; There are very few studies that compare the incidence and type of injuries in youth and senior elite soccer players with similar training and playing conditions over a sustained period of time. &lt;br&gt;&lt;I&gt;Hypothesis:&lt;/I&gt; The aim of this study was to investigate and compare the incidence and severity of injuries sustained by the senior and youth team soccer players at an English Premiership Football Club over four years. <br><I>Study design:&lt;/I&gt; Prospective and descriptive study. Data related to the occurrence, severity and location of injury, and how they affected participation in training and games, were collected for both groups over four years. &lt;br&gt;&lt;I&gt;Methods:&lt;/I&gt; Injuries were prospectively recorded by the club's medical staff on a standardised database. Statistical analyses were performed with SPSS. &lt;br&gt;&lt;I&gt;Results:&lt;/I&gt; There were 191 injuries in the senior team (85 players) and 236 in the youth team (112 players). All senior players sustained at least one recordable injury, compared with 110 injured players out of 112 in the youth team. The injury incidence during games was 23.2 injuries per 1000 hours in the senior team and 25.0 injuries per 1000 hours in the youth team, which was higher than that during training (4.2 injuries per 1000 training hours in senior team, 6.1 injuries per 1000 training hours in the youth team). There was no significant difference in absence per injury between the senior team (average 27.7 days) and the youth team (average 28.7 days). The knee (24%) and thigh (22%) represented the most common locations of injury in the senior team, whilst in the youth team the knee (19%) and ankle (19%) were most frequently injured. &lt;br&gt;&lt;I&gt;Conclusions:&lt;/I&gt; Although there is a slightly different injury pattern between senior and youth team players, the consequences for participation in training and games in the senior and youth team players of this English Premier Football Club are similar. <br><I>Clinical relevance:&lt;/I&gt; Youth team players are selected by Premier League Football Clubs with the ultimate aim to establish themselves in the first team squad. Injury, at such an important stage of their career development could significantly influence this progression.


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