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Vol. 57. Issue 213. (In progress)
(January - March 2022)
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Vol. 57. Issue 213. (In progress)
(January - March 2022)
Original Article
Injury rates following the COVID-19 lockdown: A case study from an UEFA futsal champions league finalist
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Konstantinos Spyroua,b,c,
Corresponding author
kspyrou@ucam.edu

Corresponding author: Konstantinos Spyrou, UCAM Research Center for High Performance Sport, Catholic University of Murcia, Campus de los Jerónimos, 30107, Guadalupe, Murcia, Spain
, Pedro E. Alcaraza,c, Elena Marín-Cascalesc, Rubén Herrero-Carrascod, Lucas A. Pereirae,f, Irineu Loturcoe,f,g, Tomás T. Freitasa,b,c,e
a UCAM Research Center for High Performance Sport, Catholic University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain
b Faculty of Sport Sciences, Catholic University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain
c Strength & Conditioning Society, Rome, Italy
d Research Group Murcia Soccer Federation, Murcia, Spain
e NAR – Nucleus of High Performance in Sport, São Paulo, Brazil
f Department of Human Movement Sciences, Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
g Department of Sport and Exercise, University of South Wales, Pontypridd, Wales
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Statistics
Tables (2)
Table 1. Injury indices before and after the COVID-19 lockdown.
Table 2. Injury characteristics post-COVID-19 lockdown.
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Abstract
Introduction

Recently, a pandemic disease (i.e., COVID-19) arose complicated conditions for players, clubs, and sports competitions. Most European countries postponed or canceled their respective leagues as players were forced into a long-term lockdown. This case study presents and compares the absolute and relative non-contact lower-limb injury rates and characteristics before and after the lockdown from a Finalist of the UEFA Futsal Champion League.

Material and methods

Thirteen elite futsal players (age: 27 ± 2.8 years old; body mass: 76 ± 5.4 kg; height: 1.79 ± 0.1 m; body fat: 9 ± 1.6%) participated in this study. Injury severity, location, type, and mechanism were recorded. Data from the 6 weeks pre- and post-lockdown were collected, and injury rates were expressed per 1,000 training and match hours.

Results

Chi-Square tests revealed a significant difference (p = 0.039) in the distribution of the number of injuries between the two moments. No overuse and non-contact injuries were observed during the 6 weeks before the lockdown. Nevertheless, 38% (i.e., 5) of the players suffered minimal severity (i.e., ≤ 3 days of court absence) overuse injuries in the hip/groin and thigh muscles post-home-confinement.

Conclusions

Elite male futsal players sustained a substantially higher number of lower-body non-contact injuries after the lockdown. Practitioners should implement a thorough analysis of players’ neuromuscular qualities and fatigue to identify individual training and recovery needs and, thus, prescribe more tailored injury-reduction programs.

KEYWORDS:
Five-a-side soccer
Team-sports
Elite athletes
Injury prevention
Injury characteristics

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