West Ham’s head of Sports Science and Medicine, Stijn Vandenbroucke, provided some words of encouragement to Hammers fans earlier this week with the news that the numbers in the treatment room are reducing. Andy Carroll is reported to be back in full training and likely to play on Monday night against Chelsea; while progress continues to be made with both Angelo Ogbonna and Diafra Sakho.
In advance of the big match against Chelsea on Monday night, at least some more options are now open to Slaven Bilić as the club looks to finish in a respectable place in the league.
It does seem as though the long-term injury list is gradually being whittled down and that progressions in rehabilitation are being made; so it’s well done to all concerned.
Gökhan Töre remains in Turkey having treatment at Beşiktaş. Reports from there indicate that Gökhan is working twice daily at his rehab; with morning gym sessions and treatment in the afternoons.
The news that the other two of the three longer-term injured players are now stepping up their efforts to regain full fitness was welcomed after the recent run of injuries which hit the Hammers squad hard. It’s only a few weeks ago that players seemed to be dropping like ninepins and knowing that you just can’t legislate for the unexpected injuries is often no consolation.
When players have to miss games with what seem to be relatively straight-forward injuries it can be frustrating. However, injuries are part and parcel of the game and we all have to accept this and let the medical people deal with the situation accordingly.
At any club, there’s always one or two players out of action with longer-term injuries like Angelo and Diafra, but by all accounts both are much better than they were a few weeks ago. Angelo is reported to be working hard at his rehab following knee surgery; and now that the early post-operative stage has passed he can hopefully push on a little more and be more active with his exercises.
After any knee operation the two main priorities are to limit swelling and increase the active range of movement in the knee itself. In terms of exercise, though, both go hand in hand. It’s important to be aware that the presence of any swelling will affect the range of movement available in the knee, and by the same token the amount of exercise performed can have an effect in terms of inducing swelling if you try to push ahead too quickly.
Now that Angelo appears to have passed this stage, his rehab will be a lot more active and hopefully we’ll see the benefits in due course. As he continues to progress under the care of West Ham’s medical team we’ll likely see and hear more and more of Angelo in the coming weeks as his recovery continues.
It should be the same with Diafra. It’s been widely reported that his focus is on fitness now as opposed to recovery from injury and it’s likely that he’s going to be really stepping up his workload in anticipation of making an imminent return to play.
It’s at this stage where the real onus falls on the medical teams. There’s a very fine line between just doing the right amount of exercise and doing too much or too little.
The key factor lies in making sure you hit the right balance between working at a decent level and overdoing things. If you try to do too much too quickly, recovering injuries can easily be aggravated; resulting in the players having to miss a few more training days and any perceived improvements will be lost.
It’s essential, therefore, to ensure that the injuries have recovered enough to cope with the demands of the game.
That’s going to be the priority for the medical and fitness people at this stage. Although the signs are there that the injury situation is improving, Stijn Vandenbroucke hit the nail on the head in midweek by commenting that it’s only a matter of time before the next injury comes along!
With little else to report on the injury front things are looking better in that respect than they have for several weeks.