High rate of muscle injury despite no changes in physical, physiological and psychophysiological parameters in a professional football team during a long-congested fixture period

G. S. Pinheiro, R. C. Quintão, J. G. Claudino, C. Carling, M. Lames, B. P. Couto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study aimed to analyse match availability, participation, and muscle injury incidence and to compare the effect of time intervals between matches (3–4 versus 6–7 days) on physical, physiological, and psychophysiological parameters in a professional football team during a prolonged congested fixture period. Thirteen professional male football players (29.2 ± 4.8 years old; 78.5 ± 8.3 kg; 179.3 ± 8.8 cm;) participated. Data were collected during 17 consecutive weeks for 35 official matches separated by an average interval of ≤ 3.5 days. Results showed a player availability of 84.8 ± 16.1% while match participation was 68.8% ± 6.4%. Muscle injury incidence was 19.0/ 1,000 hours of match exposure. These injuries occurred after individual players participated in sequences of 8.3 ± 3.3 consecutive matches with intervals of 3.8 ± 0.8 days. No differences were observed in physical performance or in fatigue-related parameters irrespective of the time interval between matches. A high player availability rate was observed. No differences were observed in physical, physiological, and psychophysiological indices of performance when comparing shorter and longer time intervals between consecutive matches.Prolonged exposure to fixture congestion resulted in an high risk of incurring muscle injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)744-755
Number of pages12
JournalResearch in Sports Medicine
Volume31
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Electronic performance tracking systems
  • injury rate
  • match congestion
  • physiological parameters
  • soccer

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