Between the Lines

"Of all unimportant subjects, football is the most important" – Pope John Paul II

Handling of Fletcher raises serious doubts about injury strategy

Posted by hakanrylander on November 6, 2009

At the moment seven players in United’s first team squad are injured: Berbatov (knee), Welbeck (knee), Giggs (knee), Vidic (calf), Ferdinand (calf), Park (knee) and Hargreaves (knee) according to PhysioRoom. This is more than the average of four injuries among PL-clubs,  but not particularly alarming since e.g. Liverpool have eight and  Arsenal seven. Of the seven probably only Ferdinand and Hargreaves are long term worries.

The number of injuries of course fluctuates over a season and I can’t say that United have been worse hit than other clubs. I did, however, get seriously worried by an article in yesterday’s Guardian. It concerns Darren Fletcher’s ankle injury that kept him out for the five games previous to the CL-tie against CSKA this week.  A bit of bone has broken off the back of his ankle and stuck about an inch away. This causes him significant pain during matches and will eventually require surgery. He’s had an injection to clear it up for a while.

I was under the impression that Fletcher picked up this injury this season, but it turns out that it is in fact a long term recurring problem.

“I have had it for a couple of years now and the build up of fluids and other medical things that the doctors know far more about than me has been constantly aggravating it”, says Fletcher.

So why didn’t he have an operation at the end of last season??!! One possible explanation is that with Hargreaves still missing Ferguson was very reluctant to risk being without Fletcher for the beginning of this season.

Maybe I’m too critical but I see similarities to the injuries of Ferdinand and Hargreaves. In Ferdinand’s case it seems as though the treatment focus on relieving the symptoms rather than the root cause in order to get him back on the field within a week or two. With Hargreaves I find it hard to shake off the feeling that he should have had his operations a lot earlier.

It’s a difficult balance to strike, but my impression is that Ferguson and/or the physio team should look for long term cures for injuries a bit earlier, rather than push on through pain.

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3 Responses to “Handling of Fletcher raises serious doubts about injury strategy”

  1. RoM Reads said

    […] Between The Lines is concerned with the club’s handling of Darren Fletcher’s injury. […]

  2. Zareef said

    ok! Im really worried now!

  3. 18&ThatsAFact said

    Without Hargo we wouldn’t have won the CL. Full stop. I believe in that respect it was worth it to play him that first year. He had some very key performances, not only in the final…but throughout the PL season as well.

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