Return to play following injuries in pro football: insights into the real-life practices of 85 elite practitioners
Buchheit M, King R, Stokes A, Lemaire B, Grainger A, Brennan D, Norman D, Mäkinen A, Ruggiero H, Shelton A, Sammons G, Bridges M, McHugh D, Delaval B, and Hader K. Return to play following injuries in pro football: insights into the real-life practices of 85 elite practitioners around diagnostics, progression strategies, and reintegration processes. Sport Perf & Sci Reports, #180, Jan 2023.
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Injuries to professional athletes can affect team performance and morale, not to mention the bottom line. On average, English Premier League teams lose approximately £45 million per season due to injury-related decrements in performance. Therefore, return-to-play (RTP) strategies aimed at bringing players back to competition in the shortest time possible while reducing the risk of re-injury are of keen interest.
Today, there are several resources available recommending the optimal process to follow, including specific screening protocols and suggested cut-off values for progression criteria and overall RTP decision-making.
However, much of this information is hamstring-specific. In addition, several practical, real-life questions practitioners face on a daily basis have yet to be examined.