Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) today released the preliminary results of the 2010/2011 PFA A-League Injury Report, which reveals that, at the end of Week 21, 765 games have been lost to injury, a 21% increase on the same time last season.
The ‘top line’ results also reveal that:
• when the results are adjusted for A-League expansion and the inclusion of Melbourne Heart, the increase is 10.2%;
• Brisbane Roar and Perth Glory have suffered substantially fewer injuries in comparison with last season;
• Wellington Phoenix, Newcastle United Jets and Central Coast Mariners have been hit harder this season;
• more games have been played to Week 21 this season than in previous years (125, in comparison with 105 at the same time last season); and
• the occurrence of injury has increased in each A-League season to date.
PFA Chief Executive said that the players continue to be concerned by the rate of injury in the A-League.
“Historically, the annual PFA injury report has shown that clubs will be rewarded through both on-field competitiveness and financially if they astutely manage and minimise player injury,” Schwab said.
“Whilst these preliminary results do not allow us to yet address the causes of injuries, the rate warrants close examination.  Players have been required to play more games, not uncommonly following short breaks and substantial travel.
“As we said in releasing last year’s report, the A-League provides a unique set of playing conditions.  The addition of tight scheduling to heat and travel needs to be done with particular care.
“On a positive note, it is very pleasing to see the standard of play, which has been so widely applauded, continue to rise.  This suggests clubs are now developing greater depth in their player lists.
“As the A-League is reviewed and the PFA is involved in negotiations with FFA to review the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), we need to exercise caution so as not to constrain a club’s ability to build a strong and deep squad that can compete for the entire season,” Schwab added.