How a metatarsal injury can effect the longevity of a footballers career
Due to the nature of football, injuries are almost inevitable and some are, naturally, more serious than others.
The legs and feet are the principal tools used by footballers so they are the body parts most at risk and the metatarsal bones in the feet can be particularly vulnerable.
Plenty of footballers have suffered and will suffer a metatarsal issue during their careers.
Why is a metatarsal injury common in football?
Football involves using the feet to both control and pass the ball, but also to make tackles. Such activity can sometimes result in unintended collisions between players.
It has been suggested that the design of some modern-day football boots provides players with less protection on the top of the foot, with certain designs favouring lower weight and less material.
Metatarsal injury treatment & recovery time
It can take anywhere between four and eight weeks for a metatarsal fracture to heal fully, depending on severity, and the treatment involves wearing a cast or protective boot over the injured region.
Sufferers are advised to keep the weight off their injured foot for the first couple of weeks, so crutches may be required, and physiotherapy is becoming increasingly important in the recovery process. Specialist exercises and pool work can be used in this regard.
Footballers who suffered metatarsal injuries
There were cries of horror in England when a metatarsal injury threatened to rule David Beckham out of the 2002 World Cup. The then-Manchester United star suffered the injury in a Champions League clash against Deportivo La Coruna when he came off second best against Aldo Duscher and it had the effect of bringing the bone into the consciousness of the wider football-loving public.
There was serious concern over whether Beckham would make the tournament due to the projected recovery and rehabilitation time, but the midfielder was lucky that it was not as serious as first thought.
Metatarsal is probably a word that makes Wayne Rooney wince every time he hears it such has been the difficulty it has caused him in both feet during his career. The former England captain first suffered a cracked metatarsal in his left foot as an 18-year-old at Euro 2004 and it has popped up a number of times throughout his career.
He almost missed out on the 2006 World Cup due to a similar injury in his right foot and the following year he was forced to miss a series of Euro 2008 qualifiers with another fracture.
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