Fatigue and injuries in Eurocup and NBA: COVID or greed?

The Euro Cup and the NBA are facing a harsh reality: their shortened seasons by COVID-19 are affecting the health of their players.

Footballer lying on the playing field

The coronavirus pandemic affected us all, but one group that we do not seem to be looking at carefully is professional athletes. Photo: Pixabay

LatinAmerican Post| Juan Manuel Londoño

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Leer en español: Fatiga y lesiones en Eurocopa y NBA: ¿COVID o codicia?

The coronavirus pandemic affected us all, but one group that we do not seem to be looking at carefully is professional athletes. Around the world, after months of inactivity, professional sports leagues kicked into gear. This resulted in a much tighter schedule for athletes, which may be the cause of the high number of injuries we have seen this year. Let's see some cases:

Tiredness in European soccer

The European soccer season, which normally lasts 10 months, this time was shortened to around 8 across the continent. The Premier League, for example, started in mid-September and ended in late May, discarding the winter break normally given to players in order to comply.

This means that entering this Euro 2020 the players could carry accumulated fatigue. The average England player has played 3,294 minutes this season, with some top figures passing 4000. Manchester United star Marcus Rashford has played 4,144 minutes, amid 4 different injuries.

According to the ESPN database, Italy and England are the countries with the most players who have played more than 5000 minutes last year. Both are 6. That is why wingers like Marco Verratti from Italy, who had 10 injuries in the season and missed almost 25 games with PSG alone, are not surprising either. In fact, the line-up Italy brings to the European Championship racked up the most injuries this season with its members missing more than 160 games overall.

A tragic NBA season

But it is not only the world of soccer that faces the consequences of the pandemic. This year, because of the coronavirus, the rest period between the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 seasons was extremely short for the NBA. So much so, that it was only 72 days, a record for this league. Previously, the shortest break between NBA seasons had been 127 days.

This is reflected in a postseason with a worrying number of injuries. Almost all the teams that have participated in this have had one player or more injured. Chris Paul for the Phoenix Suns, Anthony Davis for the Lakers, Joel Embidd for the 76ers, Kawhi Leonard for the Spurs, James Harden for the Nets, and Donovan Mitchell for the Jazz.

Also read: American-born soccer players who are in the Eurocup

Injuries have been so prevalent and universal that LeBron James himself criticized league leaders.

"This is the best time of year for our league and our fans, but a lot of our favorite players are missing," James said. "If there is one person who knows about the body and how it works all year long, it is me! I speak for the health of all of our players and I hate seeing so many injuries this time of year. Sorry to the fans, I wish you could. see your favorite player right now. "