Harmful association of sprinting with muscle injury occurrence in professional soccer match-play: a two-season, league wide exploratory investigation from the Qatar Stars League

Warren Gregson, Valter Di Salvo, Matthew Varley, Mattia Modonutti, Andrea Belli, Karim Chamari, Matthew Weston, Lorenzo Lolli, Cristiano Eirale

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Abstract

Objective: To investigate the impact of physical efforts performed in the period preceding activity as a potential risk factor of muscle injury during match-play within a sample of professional soccer players. Design: Observational cohort study. Methods: Match load (running [>14.4-19.8 km/h], high-speed running [>19.8 km/h to 25.2 km/h], sprinting [> 25.2 km/], leading and explosive sprint type) averaged in 1-minute and 5-minute periods prior to an event or non event for 29 professional outfield soccer players. Conditional logistic and Poisson regression models estimated the risk of injury for a 2 within-subject standard deviation in match load or 1-action increment in the number of sprinting activities, respectively. Associations were deemed beneficial or harmful based on non-overlap of the 95% confidence intervals against thresholds of 0.90 and 1.11, respectively. Results: An increment in sprinting distance [+ 2-SDs = 11 meters] covered over a 1-minute period (odds ratio [OR]: 1.22, 95%CI, 1.12 to 1.33) increased the odds of muscle injury. Conclusions: Our study provides novel exploratory evidence that the volume of sprinting during competitive soccer match-play has a harmful association with muscle injury occurrence.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Early online date18 Sep 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Sep 2019

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