Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) has called for the swift activation of the newly established Player Safety and Welfare Advisory Committee to help address a spike in the number of games missed due to injury and their associated costs for the opening 15 rounds of the A-League 2015/16 season.

PFA Player Relations Manager Simon Colosimo made the announcement after the PFA A-League Injury Report showed a 36 per cent increase in the number of games missed when compared to the same period last season.

Compiled via publicly available data, the report revealed that 424 games had been missed as a result of injury, with knee injuries being by far the most prevalent, followed by hamstring and quad.

The rise in the number of games missed is significantly higher than the 16 per cent increase in the number of injuries, indicating a greater return to work time for players who suffer an injury.

Calculated on a conservative basis excluding marquee player and discretionary player payments, the cost associated with injury has also risen by over $700,000, with injuries having cost clubs in excess of $2.55M for the campaign to date.

Whilst Sydney FC, Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney Wanderers have reduced both the number of games missed and number of injuries suffered when compared to the opening 15 rounds of the 2014/15 season, the remaining seven clubs have been unable to do so.

Colosimo said the recently established Player Safety and Welfare Advisory Committee, which consists of PFA and FFA representatives and is tasked with tabling suggestions regarding new and existing policies, should be convened immediately to review the findings.

“Whilst the A-League Minimum Medical Standards continue to be negotiated they will only be effective at combating the incidence of injury if they are implemented in full and are continually reviewed,” said Colosimo.

“The PFA intends to raise these findings though the Player Safety and Welfare Advisory Committee and will look to address them in partnership with FFA and the clubs.

“The establishment of the committee is an important provision within the CBA and has a vital role in addressing matters of this nature.

“Fans want to see the league’s outstanding players on the pitch – not injured on the sidelines. It is in the best interests of all stakeholders that every possible measure is adopted to reduce the amount of games missed through injury with player health and safety the responsibility of all parties.

“The standard on the pitch will have a key role to play in securing the best possible broadcast deal for the game and must not be put at risk by clubs being regularly unable to call on their most talented players.”