This season the club had to use a record number of squad players. They did that due to constant injuries that our squad suffered from. Players like Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto and now Pedri are all out with an injury. What do they have in common? They all suffer from hamstring injuries. And What else? It’s not their first hamstrings injury this season. Therefore, Barca needs to address this issue, and our squad should suffer from injuries a lot less.
When Xavi took over, he made many changes in the staff. He received a team that constantly suffer from injuries, and it got to the point that he had to play without 17 squad players. They were all out because of injuries an Covid. Morevoer, Chief Doctor Ricard Pruna returned to the club, and we do see improvement in that area since than. But, there’s still a lot of work to do in that area.
There are two types of injuries in the world – Overload and Overuse. Overuse injuries are a cause of playing too much without proper rest. For example, the latest injury of Gerard Pique is a classic Overuse injury. That’s why he was able to play for a month until the pain was too much for him. That’s why we saw him trying to force himself to play despite suffering.
Overload is an injury that happen when there’s an impact or quick motion that cost a tear or a a broken bone. ACL injuries are a great example, and Meniscus injury like the one Ansu Fati suffered from last season. Most times, these injuries will require an operation in order to return to full fitness.
Hamstring tears are a cause of both. Most times, there’s an overuse that can happen for a long time, and then a sprint or quick turn can be enough to cause an overload – more than the muscle tissue can handle. And then it can cause a tear.
The recovery from any muscle tear depends on the degree of the injury. As for hamstring injuries, it goes like this:
- 1st Degree : A tear of up to 10% of the muscle. The recovery usually takes around 2 weeks.
- 2nd Degree : A tear of up to 50% of the muscle. The recovery usually takes around a month and a half.
- 3rd Degree : A full tear of the muscle, that will probably cause an operation and might leave the player out for 6-12 months.
According to the recent reports, the recent injury of Pedri is a tear of 2nd degree. Same as Ansu Fati. That means Pedri will most likely end this season on the sidelines.
Statistically, most hamstring injuries return to haunt you at some point. For example, Pedri missed around 4 months of this season for Barca due to hamstring injuries. Moreover, Sergi Roberto and Ansu Fati also suffered a relapse of their injuries.
In a study made in the PL, it showed that extending the rest time by 2 weeks will reduce the odds for a relapse from 34% to 6%. Therefore, the cautious way the club currently handles the injury of Ansu Fati.
In 2008, no one had a doubt about how talented Leo Messi was. But many people weren’t sure if Barca can build a project around someone who suffers from so many injuries. It got to the point that the Argentinean left the field crying because he felt the frustration of being injured so much.
But it’s not all bad. Most hamstring injuries are recurable. And the club did handle the injuries of Leo Messi well. And the rest of his career looked different.
I wrote about Ousmane Dembele’s injuries back in 2019 when it wasn’t so popular to talk about his injuries. And I’m really happy that the club finally made changes in the ways he trains, eats and lives. He is suffering from a lot less injuries. Last season he was fit for most of the season, and got injured during the Euro tournament.
As for Pedri and Ansu, they are still very young. Hopefully, the club is preparing a whole program of how to handle their fitness and body. They have the talent to be generational talents. But in order to be a Ballon d’or winner, you have to be fit first.