Swans top of medical charts
8th July 2013
Swansea City's medical team has hit the top of the charts for the lowest number of injuries in the Barclays Premier League last season.
The Swans were among the top performers, and were way out in front in a number of categories, when it came to injury prevention, performance and recovery.
For the last two years the medical staff at almost every Barclays Premier League club has been providing injury, match and training data to the league as part of a research study.
Injury stats are released to the research study group by the club every month, including the number of training hours, game time, injuries and other relevant stats.
The club then receives a mid-season and end of season report comparing clubs to each other and the Premier League average. And the final report of the 2012-13 campaign made impressive reading from the Swans' point of view. Here is a brief overview:
Training Exposure: The Swans completed more training sessions than any other PL club. They trained on average 22.2 sessions per month. The PL average was 17.5 sessions, while the lowest was 14.5 sessions.
Training To Match Ratio: Highest in the PL. Some clubs may play more games than others, such as in the Europa League, but this category averages out the findings alongside the number of training sessions.
Training Injury Incidents: Second lowest in PL.
Match Injury Incidents: Third lowest in PL.
Average Days Absence From Training & Match Injuries: Well below PL average.
Severe Injury Incidents: Lowest in PL.
Soft-Tissue Injuries: Joint-lowest in PL.
Re-injury Rate: Lowest in PL.
"As a medical team, we are delighted at the statistics,'' explained Swansea City's Head of Medical, Kate Rees.
"Since the current medical staff teamed up at the club our injury statistics have improved year on year, which is very encouraging considering the number of personnel changes involving managers, coaches and training methods we've experienced in recent seasons.
"Michael Laudrup is very understanding and supportive of the work we do, which is very important because it shows he has faith in what we are advising and trying to achieve.
"For example, Michu was suffering a bit on the first day of training in Holland with his quad muscle and he agreed for us to keep him out of the next session so that we could work on him back at the hotel. It meant he returned to full training the following day and played in the second friendly.
"The recent stats are a pat on the back to everyone involved from the medical and sports science departments through to the coaching staff and players.''
Richie Buchanan, the club's rehabilitation physio, added: "As far as the medical team is concerned, one of the most important stats involves the re-injury rate.
"The fact that we are the lowest in the Premier League is extremely encouraging as it highlights we are taking care of the players during their rehabilitation and they are ready to return to action at the right time.''
The recent move to the club's new training ground at Landore has also proved a massive boost.
"I think the facilities on offer at Landore will help us even more,'' added Kate. "To have everything in one place for the first time could prove vital.
"It made all the pre-season fitness testing at the start of the week so much easier and of a better quality. Sometimes all the hanging about can be a bit laborious for the players, but this time it was a pleasure to do.
"It will also enable us to work more closely with the Academy set-up. The club has expanded the Academy medical team over the last 12 months and it is something we will continue to work on.
"We have already noticed that the young boys who have stepped up to the senior squad this season are in much better physical shape than previous years.
"They are much better prepared to become professional footballers and first-team players.''
But despite the stats fillip, the medical team know they are going to have their work cut out over the next few months to cope with the domestic league and cup campaigns, plus the additional Europa League quest.
Richie added: "We have a massive challenge ahead of us, especially if we proceed to the group stage and beyond in the Europa League. But it's an exciting challenge that we are all looking forward to.''
Although the club figures are gathered anonymously, the Sporting Intelligence website has gathered some of the data and compiled a club-by-club injury chart.
It is available HERE