THE Warriors medical team’ effectiveness and ability to diagnosis the health and fitness level of players before and during the disastrous Afcon campaign has been called into question with the team’s dressing room resembling a mini medical facility emergency room.
Before the tournament kicked off, Khama Billiat injury worries cast a shadow over the Warriors camp but he went on to be the star of the show notwithstanding that Zimbabwe ended their adventure in humiliation.
A worrying trend of players picking up injuries like they were in a competition to outclass one another with trips for diagnosis by the team doctors’ was to follow.
Just how prepared was the medical team in dealing with the various knocks, pulled muscles and serious injuries.
Seven other players Tafadzwa Kutinyu, Edmore Sibanda, George Chigova, Devine Lunga, Marvelous Nakamba, Alec Mudimu and Nyasha Mushekwi all lined up for appointments with the team doctors.
But experts are asking very pertinent questions from the men mandated to make sure the team keeps a clean bill of health.
“Some might have suffered genuine injuries but from experience, I know that players have the ability to hide injuries especially when they are called for national duty. There was a need for rigorous pre-tournament medical check-ups for each and every player because they were coming from different leagues where the coaches and team doctors couldn’t closely monitor them,” said a medical expert familiar with sportspersons’ routines, their injuries and treatment.
For eight players from a squad of 23 to pick up seemingly serious knocks in the space of a few days, does not go done well with the medical expert.
“We almost lost a whole team (11 players) due to injuries. This is not normal. Why did other teams not experience it? While we need to take into account the training and playing surfaces that the Warriors were exposed to, some players could have fallen victim to recurring injuries. Also, the training methods that were used could have negatively impacted on those who were carrying slight injuries,” he said.
He added: “I presume that all players that were called into camp by the coaches were fit as they were coming from their active respective leagues. So the argument that the players were not rightly conditioned is thrown out of the window.”
Conditioning is a contemporary term used to describe the deliberate attempt to improve physical attributes.
Research indicates that by improving your strength and condition you can significantly reduce your risk of injury and improve your on-pitch performance by being faster, jumping higher and running further than your less developed opponents.