It seems to have been such a feature of the last 2 or 3 seasons with injury depriving us of key players at key times that the view we are lacking something in our medical set up was one that was bound to gain popular currency. As Gazidis promised supporters and shareholders a complete and ongoing review last season it seems that by the time we had reached this year`s AGM the conclusion of that review was that our existing medical team was up to the task.
“We have a very competent medical staff,” said Wenger at yesterday`s AGM. “We analyse and check every training method we can. Overall, if you look at all the numbers, ours are not much more. What we have more is long-term injuries than other clubs but they are down to bad luck and bad tackling. Or they were picked up with the national team. Also once you have had an injury there are more chances to be injured again. If you pull a hamstring, the more chance you have of injuring your hamstring again.”
At the same event Wenger inadvertently exacerbated current sensitivities to the injury issue by feeding doubts about Vermaelen`s injury in saying that we didn`t know when he would be back. Quickly sensing the need to settle fast spreading internet rumours that Thomas would be out for the season he later clarified the situation in an ATVO interview.
“Vermaelen will still need two or three weeks,” said the Arsenal manager “His injury is not a long-term concern, but at the start we thought it was a question of days and now it is six weeks. You can’t say it is not a concern at all. We are a bit concerned, but he has had a final treatment that we think could kill it.”
As things stand, with the recent return of Walcott and Bendtner from long term injury and all being well the return of van Persie and Vermaelen along with Aaron Ramsey next month, that still leaves the business end of the season in front of the squad. We are due a change of fortune on the injury front. Not only in terms of their longevity but as crucially the timing has seemed to deprive us of key players when we`ve needed them most. Let`s hope we get that change of fortune because it seems there`s not much more we can do on the medical front to improve things.
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