Recovery During a Congested Schedule and Injury in Professional Football

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance

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Benoit DelavalLaboratory of Exercise Physiology and Rehabilitation, University of Picardie Jules Verne, Amiens, France

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Abd-Elbasset AbaïdiaLaboratory of Exercise Physiology and Rehabilitation, University of Picardie Jules Verne, Amiens, France

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Barthélémy DelecroixMultidisciplinary Sport, Health, Society Research Unit, University of Lille Nord de France, Artois University, University of the Littoral Opal Coast, Lille, France

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Franck Le GallMultidisciplinary Sport, Health, Society Research Unit, University of Lille Nord de France, Artois University, University of the Littoral Opal Coast, Lille, France

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Alan McCallResearch & Development Department, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

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Said AhmaidiLaboratory of Exercise Physiology and Rehabilitation, University of Picardie Jules Verne, Amiens, France

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Gregory DupontResearch Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences (RISES), Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, United Kingdom

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Purpose: To analyze the relationships between the recovery kinetics experienced by professional football players and noncontact injury. Methods: A cohort of 46 professional football players (age 24.2 [4.7] y) from the same team (French Ligue 1) was monitored each day between matches when the team played twice a week. The recovery monitoring procedure was implemented after 38 matches and included some questionnaires: duration of sleep, Hooper scale (quality of sleep, level of stress, fatigue, and muscle soreness), perceived recovery status scale, creatine kinase concentrations, a countermovement jump, and an isometric force test. Noncontact injuries were collected during these periods. Results: Noncontact injuries were associated with perceived fatigue and muscle soreness 2 days (relative risk [RR] = 1.89 and 1.48, respectively) and 3 days following the matches (RR = 2.08 and 2.08, respectively). An increase of sleep quantity during the 2 nights following a match was significantly associated with a lower RR (RR = 0.65), as well as a lower decrement score on the isometric force test on each of the 3 days after the matches (RR = 0.97, RR = 0.99, and RR = 0.97, respectively). No other association was reported for the variables sleep quality, stress, perceived recovery, creatine kinase concentrations, countermovement jump, and noncontact injuries. Conclusion: During a congested schedule, implementing a recovery monitoring protocol including questionnaires about fatigue, muscle soreness, quantity of sleep, and a physical test of isometric force could help practitioners prevent injuries.

Delaval (benoit.delaval@gmail.com) is corresponding author.

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