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Sporting injuries - are you fit for the pitch?

Weekend work out


© PA Photo/thinkstockphotos
© PA Photo/thinkstockphotos
However, England's injury woes are not too bad, say the Football Association.

FA spokesman, Andy West, points out that Capello spoke openly about Gareth Barry being the only player who's an injury doubt when he announced the provisional squad (even Capello couldn't predict the Ferdinand injury).

"Ledley King has an ongoing issue which means he can't train too much, but he's fine - in terms of the World Cup, there's no problems there,'' stresses West. "The injuries are fairly light - we've done quite well so far to have so few players unavailable.''

That may have been heartening for England fans to hear before the World Cup kicked off - but they might not be as keen to listen to advice about their own well-being when playing football, or enjoying amateur sport and exercise.

Phil Evans, a sports physiotherapist from Loughborough University's Peak Performance Centre, says that for occasional footballers, a complete lack of conditioning could easily result in hamstring, groin or lower limb injuries.

"If you just walk up to a Sunday league match with no conditioning at all, you haven't got the strength or stability that the professionals have, and when you sprint for the ball you're likely to be injured.''

There will always, of course, be unavoidable injuries like breaking an ankle in a bad tackle, which no amount of training would prevent.

"But hamstring, groin and muscular injuries can be prevented through conditioning and exercise,'' warns Evans.

He advises occasional sportspeople to do core stability exercises like pilates or yoga, and stresses: "If they keep that up, the likelihood of injury is massively decreased.''


Health and Fitness Editor
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