Hamstring injuries defined

Fantasy football is a serious business and when one of your star players, Fabregas, gets injured, pulls a hamstring, you need to know how long he’s going to be out. (I’ve just transferred him out I can’t risk him not playing this weekend and losing ground on the leaders. This is means that he’ll make a return this weekend and score a couple of goals and Ronaldo will be rested).

Anyway the continuous questioning about hamstrings and return dates on the fantasy football discussion board led an Australian physiotherapist who plays fantasy football to enlighten us all on hamstring injuries. So in case you wanted to know here’s what he had to say in his very highly appreciated post…

“I’m a physiotherapist who works with Aussie Rules players. The most common injury in the AFL is….you guessed it….a hamstring strain.

Enough about me. Now a little bit about the injury.

Hamstring strains are classed in 3 grades. A grade one tear is where less than 50% of the muscle fibres are torn or damaged. Grade 2- 50-70%, and a grade 3 is usually completely severed most of the muscle (ie 70%+) which is not pretty.

Assuming that Fabs has the most minor tear ie minor Grade 1- the recovery process usually dictates a MINIMUM of 21 days before back to full competition. at day 3 post tear, the athlete is able to run at 80% intensity levels already, though only in a straight line with no fast explosive acceleration.

Around day 7, the athlete is able to run at up to 90% intensity in a straight line.

The Doctors and Physios will only declare a player fit to play once he has completed a full intensity match simulation training session, involving explosive bursts of acceleration, zig zag running and kicking. It is at the end of the training session, when the players muscles are all fatigued, that the hamstring is most vulnerable, and once the player is spent, a good medical team will then put the specific hamstring at stress. Palpation, stretching and eccentric contractions (contracting the muscle while lengthening it) will be done. The earliest I have ever seen this occur was at 19 days.

In Cesc’s case, its the first time he’s done it. In my experience, its usually a Gr. 1, and the 21 day rule is adhered to very very strictly because studies have shown that the player is at very high risk of another strain whilst training in the first 17-21 day stage, especially when at match intensity. You often see players rushed back, only to re-do their strain in the 2nd half/3rd of 4th quarter. In this case, its really down to the healing properties of his specific physiological system to see when he is back.

I’ll take an educated guess and say any game on or after 21 days since he tore it, he’ll play. Havent got access to info, so if someone could do the sums that would be great!

Just thought Id try to inform you guys a little more, and in reality whether you keep him in your FPL team is up to you. Im holding on to him as he would be too expensive to get back. If we do see him within 21 days, arse and the medical team will be taking a huge risk.”


  1. Idetrorce

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

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