Erik ten Hag&aposs tenure as United manager so far has been plagued by injury woes, both short and long-term, and the club is feeling the brunt of it so far this season. A total of 11 players are either ruled out or have question marks surrounding their availability ahead of Sunday&aposs trip to Goodison Park to face Everton.
But even though United&aposs injury crisis so far this seen has earned plenty of attention, their luck on the injury front was not much better last season. New research has discovered that Premier League players spent eight extra days on the sidelines in the second half of last season after the World Cup.
The mid-season tournament, which was held in Qatar, took its toll on players&apos fitness loads, with a sharp rise in ankle, calf and hamstring injuries being recorded because of the extra demand. Depending on how far some players&apos clubs got in domestic and continental competitions, some players ended up playing north of 70 games last season.
The Howden&aposs 2022/23 European Football Injury Index has also revealed that United had the joint-most injuries throughout the campaign, recording 69 in total. The report has become the most respected and in-depth across Europe&aposs top five leagues and shows that recorded injuries in October 2022 saw players out for an average of 11.35 days compared to 19.41 days in January this year.
The World Cup was played between November 20 and December 18, highlighting that injuries soared following the conclusion of the tournament. Even though the number of injuries across the Premier League reduced by 23 per cent, players were sidelined for longer periods than normal, pointing to the impact of a winter World Cup.
United were joined in suffering 69 injuries across the season by Nottingham Forest. Fulham (27) and Brentford (28) recorded the fewest injury concerns.
In total, the Premier League, according to the study, had 946 injuries over the course of the campaign, down from 1,231 in 2021/22. However, it took players longer to recover from those injuries, with the number of days increasing to 23.62 from 16.02.
As well as injuries impacting players&apos and clubs&apos campaigns, it also impacted proceedings financially. The total recorded injury cost was 255.41million – an increase of just over 70m from the 2021/22 season.
Howden&aposs Head of Sport, James Burrows, explained: “We&aposve seen clearly that the staging of a men&aposs World Cup in a European winter led to players facing an extra eight days on the sidelines in the second half of the season, compared to the first. The impact was consistent across domestic leagues such as the English Premier League and the German Bundesliga, with the increased injury severity contributing to the financial impact rising by almost 30% from 553.62m to 704.89m across the top five men&aposs European leagues.