Bad pitches to blame for ankle injuries – Sports physician

Sports and exercise physician Dr Prince Pambo has cautioned Ghanaian clubs against the use of bad soccer pitches if clubs hope to get maximum output from players.

The sports specialist, who is the current Medical Officer in charge of the National Sports Authority (NSA) and the national youth football teams, said, the many terrible soccer pitches in the country do not only hamper quality player output but also provide a major hub for ankle injuries.

“We did some research work in the 2011/2012 football season and we noticed that ankle injuries were the number one injuries sustained in the Ghana Premiership which is, of course, consistent with what we know about in football the world over,” he said.

“After a club-by-club assessment, we realized that a particular club in the country that plays on a particular pitch had the highest incidents of ankle injuries. Before that particular research work, I had traveled around to inspect the pitches so I wasn’t surprised after the analysis to have confirmed that club as the highest sufferers of ankle injuries.

“Just walking alone with my shoes on that pitch or if I did a pole-to-pole of about three times, I can be sure of having some burning sensations in my ankle joint because the pitch isn’t even and how much more a player who runs, jumps and lands.”

Dr Pambo added: “The pitch is supposed to be even so that when you land, you do so with all the arches of your foot placed in the natural anatomical position. But if you land on a pitch with part of your foot on a higher end with the other part in a ditch, you are obviously going to sustain an injury.

“We got some people to come over to see a particular exercise on a particular pitch and one of the questions (they asked) was “how can you get a good player when you want to do a justifier on a pitch like this?”” he questioned.

Source: Kwaku Ahenkorah, Kessben FM/TV