Aim: Objective of the study was to examine the injury incidence in the Spanish Professional Soccer League, and to analyse differences between competition and training.
Methods: Sport injuries data from 11 out of 22 Spanish second division soccer teams (301 players) were prospectively collected during the season 2008/2009.
Results: A total of 891 injuries (111 recurrence injuries) were identified during 161602.7 hours of exposure. Competition injury incidence was higher than training (38.8 vs. 3.8 injuries per 1000h; P<0.05). The higher injury incidence was located at lower extremities (4.82 per 1000 h), and mainly affected muscles and tendons (3.1 per 1000 h). Two out of three injuries were due to overuse (54% during competition and 72% during training), and mainly result in players were unable to full soccer participation for less than 7 days (64%). Training injury incidence was higher during the pre-season and tended to decrease throughout the season (P<0.05), while competition injury incidence increased progressively throughout the season (P<0.05).
Conclusion: In our best knowledge, this is the first examination of injuries in Spanish professional soccer players. The main findings of the study suggest that competition is much more injurious than training, revealing a progressive decrease of training injury incidence and a progressive increase of competition injury incidence throughout the season. These data might be considered by clubs, coaches, and medical staff in order to design new strategies that reduce injury risk in Spanish Professional Soccer League.