The Tweak

If you dont want to risk turning a minor injury into a problem one then treat the tweak seriously. Bench the player. Ice him down. Keep him off. Reassess during the week .. if there is any pain then dont replay him and dont train on the injured leg. See a physio and rehab properly. One exceptions to this strategy may involve risking a player during a crucial game. This is a difficult one. The strapped player might get through OK. But he might not. What if the injury gets worse .. it might be worth the risk.. but what if the injury progresses to a career-ending one. This can happen. Another variant is the well known recurring tweak in an older player who has been through the situation enough times to be pretty confident about what is true for him. Experience may be a fair guide.

 

The Rip

Some players say they would prefer a fracture which will heal eventually to the uncertainty of a ripped muscle. The older the player, the more uncertain the future. A calf injury in a young player may be a soon-forgotten experience ... in the older player it may be the beginning of endless torment. All muscle strains need to be taken seriously and money is well spent rehabbing under the guidance of an experienced sports-physio. A trip to a podiatrist interested in the sportman's leg is also well worth the effort. At the time of a new rip.. bench the player, ice him down, put on a compression bandage if there is swelling. Dont let him go onto the beer and leap around in an alcohol-anaesthetised state that night making things worse. 

 

 The Recurrent Strain

This may just be part of the deal. Strains do recur. But it is always worth asking why? There may be a correctable problem or a better way of dealing with things. A sports physician,an experienced sports-physio, a sports podiatrist .. each of these specialists have their own unique view on things. Avoid alternative therapists and other magicians.

 

 The Chronic Injury

What do you do with the old champion who wants to play on but just never seems to get over his problem. Well .. you can give him a lesser role and strap him up. Or better still .. bring in some younger players and give them a go.