MILAN, Nov 2 (Reuters) - The glut of muscle injuries
suffered by players in Serie A this season could have been
partly avoided with less intensive training sessions, top sports
medics said on Tuesday.
Inter Milan coach Rafael Benitez, who took over from Jose
Mourinho in the close season, hit out on Monday at critics who
say his new training regime is to blame for 15 muscle-related
problems among his Inter players already this term.
Benitez said 40 percent of the injuries were picked up on
international duty while 85 percent were recurring from last
year, but experts say the critics have a point.
"Certainly a big reason for it is the amount of games being
played but you also can't have training so intense and so
often," Professor Arsenio Veicsteinas, one of Italy's most
respected sports doctors from the University of Milan, told
"It's very easy to say don't train, it's very difficult to
put into practice. Players often also don't recuperate properly
from injuries and then play and this augments the problem."
Doctor Sergio Califano from the Medical Institute of Sport
in Florence agreed that if top professional players trained less
there would be less injuries to their ultra-toned muscles which
are pushed to the limit.
However, training less compared to an opposition side would
clearly hand the athletic advantage to the other team.
"It's possible that you get more injuries if you change the
intensity of training, it's a phenomenon that happens. It's not
rare," Califano told Reuters.
"This is a problem with all top level sport, if you push it
to the maximum then there is a risk. It's logical that you can't
push muscles past a certain point. But we know not training as
much isn't possible or practical."
Juventus are another Italian team to have had a series of
injuries over the past few years with the unexplainably high
humidity of their training ground blamed by some pundits for the
Football has transformed over the last 20 years from a sport
where technique was key to one where fitness is now more
However, that fitness quickly suffers because of the number
of matches teams like Champions League winners Inter are
"People say Lazio are top of Serie A because they are not
playing in Europe," Califano concluded.
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