Contact in elite football can result in severe injury such as traumatic fracture. Limited information exists regarding the rehabilitation and return to sport (RTS) of these injuries especially in elite football. We outline the RTS of an elite English Premier League footballer following a tibia-fibula fracture including gym-based physical preparation and the use of ‘control-chaos continuum’ as a framework for on-pitch sport-specific conditioning, development of technical skills while returning the player to pre-injury chronic running loads considering the qualitative nature of movement in competition. Strength and power diagnostics were used to back up clinical reasoning and decision-making throughout rehabilitation and the RTS process. The player returned to full team training after 7.5 months, completed 90 min match-play after 9 months and remains injury-free 11 months post-RTS.
- sporting injuries
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Contributors SS surgically operated on the player, CH led early physiotherapy management, MT led physical preparation, planned and wrote the manuscript, NVD, DDC and TA provided guidance and assisted in the writing of the manuscript. CR provided analysis of S&C diagnostics.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests DC consults to a company that sells strength and power diagnostic equipment.
Patient consent for publication Obtained.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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