How long does it take to physically and psychologically recover after an injury in football?


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INTRODUCTION: When football players sustain an injury, they generally have to recover, both physically and psychologically. The process of recovery after an adversity such as an injury can be defined as resilience. (1) Despite its importance, individual resilience after a time-loss injury has never been quantified before. Therefore, this study aimed to quantify resilience in terms of both physical and psychological variables after time-loss injury in individual football players.
METHODS: We included 21 football players who sustained time-loss injuries during the 2021/2022 season. For each individual, we monitored the training load, perceived recovery, motivation, self-efficacy, mood, and enjoyment for every training and match day. We quantified resilience using these variables following injury by fitting multiple growth models. Next, we identified the best one using the Bayesian information criterion. (2) Then we used the predicted values from the selected model to identify the time point at which the physical and psychological variables should return to baseline levels.
RESULTS: Eight of the 21 football players experienced a significant drop in physical or psychological variables following an injury. For three football players, the psychological variables self-efficacy and mood did not return to baseline levels even though these players resumed training. Accordingly, the average duration between the day of the injury and the predicted day of return to baseline was lower for the physical variables (training load = 20.5 days and recovery = 73.5 days) than for the psychological variables (motivation = 358 days, self-efficacy = 114.8 days, mood = 104.4, and enjoyment = 70.25 days). However, these trajectories were highly individual-specific.
CONCLUSION: Injuries often lead to a significant decrease in the physical and psychological variables of football players. Although the recovery trajectory after an injury is highly individual-specific, the recovery of psychological variables often
requires more time than the recovery of physical variables. Practitioners can use these findings during the multidisciplinary and personalized rehabilitation of injured players.
Originele taal-2English
StatusPublished - 7-jul.-2023
Evenement28th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science: Explore Enlighten Perform - Palais des Congrès, Paris, France
Duur: 4-jul.-20237-jul.-2023


Conference28th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science
Verkorte titelECSS 2023
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