Players gripped by injury fear as World Cup draws near
A World Cup tournament is on the horizon, and even those with World Cup experience and the passion for the sport in their blood are wondering whether they can still play in the event.
But for those in the U.S. who have already qualified for the 2018 tournament in Russia, there is a fear that they may not be able to make the cut if their bodies hold up.
Here’s a look at six injuries that threaten to knock out a few of our beloved national pastimes.
1. Elbow and knee injuries. The most prevalent injury concern for USA soccer players is the dreaded elbow and knee injuries. It’s been a hot topic in the U.S. and here in Miami where former pro Jeremy Helvig is training with the U.S. women’s national soccer team.
“Every day it seems like I’m learning something new,” Helvig told USA Today Sports. “The last few years I’ve been training in the indoor facility at Miami University, just about the only thing that’s been constant is injuries.
“So I can say as a guy with about 25 years of pro soccer experience, I have seen a lot of different injuries – torn labrum and elbow ligament – but I haven’t seen an elbow and knee injury ever.
“That’s the only one I haven’t seen happening out here.”
Helvig’s words are backed up by USA coach Carlos Bocanegra, who recently said: “I’ve seen guys from 30 and up get injured – but I never once saw [an elbow] or anything like it. I never saw one player get injured by one of these. That’s the only one I haven’t seen happen yet.”
So, what makes a U.S. national team soccer player more susceptible to an elbow and knee injury?
“Probably the wear and tear [of the sport],” Helvig said. “It wears everyone down. The running, the soccer, the practices, the training