Please investigate the injury plague


As Gor Mahia prepare to embark on the plane to Mozambique, there will be no less than seven key players who will be missing due to stress related injuries. They are Edwin Lavatsa, Demonde Selenga, Hugo Nzoka, George Midenyo, Solomon Nasio, Kevin Omondi.  None of them will travel to Maputo. In addition, Baldwin Ngwa, Ivo Mapunda and Dan Makori recently suffered stress related injuries. It is not clear whether they have fully recovered. One only hopes that they are not being rushed back into the playing field before injuries heal.

It is perfectly normal for some players to pick up injuries. However it is completely abnormal for a team to suffer significant injuries to 10 key players within a span of two weeks ! When this happens it is usually a symptom of over-training and lack of sufficient rest between training sessions.

It is usual for players especially those who have been playing for a very long time and are on the other side of age 30 to experience muscle strains, However many of the players suffering the current injury plague are still relatively young. Some are recent form four leavers.

It is also normal to experience a rush of injuries after a long arduous season. Yet the current season is only one week old and players have only been training for about a month since the Christmas break.

Injuries like tendonitis occur due to stress and over-use of muscles. Overuse syndromes are common sports injuries that result from repetitive use, stress and trauma to the soft tissues of the body (muscles, tendons, bones and joints) without proper time for healing. Another injuries caused by over-use of muscles include bursitis. Shin splints and stress fractures can also occur.

Its worth noting that none of the injuries occurred due to rough tackles. Hugo Nzoka for example simply strained a muscle. Muscle strains are a classic symptom of over-training. Most of the other injuries have occurred during training. And most are stress related.

Many sportsmen do not recognize that by working out too much, they are actually decreasing their performance capabilities. They push themselves harder to prepare for competition. But without adequate rest and recovery, these training regimens can backfire, and actually decrease performance.

Most well run teams usually have a qualified physiotherapist on staff. His/Her task is to assign a training regimen to each player, monitor players closely, prevent over-training and ensure the exact right amount of training to achieve peak performance. When a team experiences a rush of injuries, the team physio will find himself in hot water and may even be fired because his training regimen is backfiring. However Gor Mahia most likely does not have a qualified physiotherapist who is in charge of the teams training regimen. Even if a physio exists, it is unlikely that he has full authority of the training regimen, Its is left to coach and his staff. Yet they dont know much about muscle recovery and other aspects of training.

Its possible that the coaching staff has been pushing the players too hard. It is however more likely that the players have been pushing themselves extremely hard due to competition for places. Everyone wants to impress the coaches. Internal competition is good. But moderation is needed. The players need a qualified physio who can give them proper direction.

It would behove the club to hire a qualified physiotherapist even part time to independently investigate the issue. All he needs to is work with the current setup to find out just what is going on. Further to that, the physio’s input must take precedence.  If something is not done then at this rate the club’s ambitions of doing well in 2012 will be foiled by injuries.

18 thoughts on “Please investigate the injury plague

  1. Edwin Lavatsa, Demonde Selenga, Hugo Nzoka, George Midenyo, Solomon Nasio, Kevin Omondi who will be missing due to stress related injuries, wow just wow. i hope we will win without them expecially Lavatsa.

  2. Oh no administrator! I agree that the injuries are worrying and I wish to commend you for raising this pertinent matter.

    It is also noteworthy of the effort you have made to source information and convey it to bloggers from a lay point of view. However, administrator as you endeavored to source information on sports injuries you should as well have done some background check about the Gor Mahia team Physiotherapist. And the following is what you would have unearthed:

    Down from before the days of Ochido “Kamkunji”, Gor Mahia have always had Dr. Samson B.A. Ogutu- a qualified physiotherapist in his own right. SBAO as he is known by his peers and students is an Australian-trained physiotherapist and has contributed immensely to the training of Physiotherapy and sports medicine in Kenya as a lecturer.
    SBAO was with Gor even during the time of winning the Mandela cup but took a break to pursue commitments with the Red Cross in the mid 90s before returning to Gor after the unfortunate demise of Dr Peter Olimo who himself was SBAO’s student. I hope you now appreciate how misleading your assertion could be. While we celebrate Mzee SBAO’s contribution to Gor Mahia, perhaps the question we should be asking is: 1.who is in-charge of training at GM? 2. Are the Physiotherapist’s instructions to the trainer followed?

  3. There is something wrong happening that needs to be looked into. I dont know if its the poor training surface. Too much training. I dont know. All I see is there is an injury crisis that needs to be addressed. Maybe the team needs a second opinion. There is nothing wrong with bringing outside help.

  4. jasego, i agree with you.
    I have beedn saying all along, Pros way of wareming up is a typical training session. you acan not warm up fort a Match his way, serious ridicule for some of us who have been into competitive football.
    secondly, whoever his name his, SBAO or not, he has gotten old!!!!!! truth be told, he can not run on emergency litle to say…. get a young proffessional lad. rhe guy wears scvandals on the opitch!!!
    to the team, as you go yto Maputo, Pro, be proffessional. jipake mafuta, vaa viatu vya uwanja and be natured. kua msafi boss. wear the right socks, promote us if not Tuzo.
    all in all wish you well.

  5. Hapo umesema papamiky. SBAO has been team doctor since the 1970s. Medical trends change very often. I am not sure he has kept up with the latest trends.

    Also in the 1970s and 80s players were only part time and very few trained for more than 2hrs a day. Often they missed training due to various “commitments”. I remember sometime in 1991 coach Julians complaining that sometimes only 8 players attend training.

    Nowadays a player often does not have another job so they train all day. Without proper guidance they can overtrain. Anyway long story shot the team should seriously look at this issue.

  6. let the technical bench come out and tell us what is the main problem that results to all this injuries at the same time,then its only then that we can judge.

    otherwise i wish them all quick recovery and never again get injured mpaka season kwisha.


  7. On injuries three things come out:-
    1) The state of the fields is just deplorable especially when you are playing at that level
    2) Apart from having a physio I’m not sure that we have a medical insurance to cater for the players.
    3) Injuries will always happen since soccer is a contact game but the issue is how well they will be handled. There are cases where players continue playing despite having injuries for want of match allowances only for the injury to become a hindrance.

    Otherwise quick recovery to all the players

  8. i suspect the training ground has something to do with it… i recently spoke to Dan Makori and on inquiring about the state of the training pitch he told me it was hard and dry with patches of grass… now this is not an ideal pitch to train five days a week…

  9. No insults please, Daktari has been with Kogalo for so long and done good service,harsh words are not necessary at this moment.Is it the Doctor who injures or he treats one when injured? Of course he is supposed to study and give opinion on training methods, he cannot be solely responsible for all the injuries. These things happen, it happened to Arsenal, Man U at different times. We will overcome, I am sure.By the way,is Owiti not available Mr coach?

  10. We all saw the state of the pitch at Thika municipal stadium last Sunday. Guys remember that Hugo Nzoka got injured in that pitch minus any direct contact. There are many such pitches spread all over the country and our players have had to play in such pitches. Let us not use SBAO as a scapegoat. His hands are not only steady but full of experience.

    As has been correctly put, with the advent of professional football in Kenya training has become more rigorous and with it have emerged many gymns and other training facilities that are not run by qualified staff. there is also the element of players being over-zealous in training so as to win team place.

  11. True we must avoid name callings and harsh words.
    We only need to have things run in a professional way.
    So they say Rome was not built in a day!

    We’ve seen the new office trying some new things of late and lets hope these will also include introducing a panel of Medical experts in the ranks of staff or board..i also hope there could be several of GM family members who may not hesitate to offer their much needed services for a start for free until our coffers are fully able to afford, but even if it means a funds drive in various fora to foot this bill so be it as it is very necessary for the playing unit.

    Lets please understand that our current doctor could have worked for decades out of responsibility, passion and love for GM and any negative word however slight remains too un welcome. He must be accorded respect deserving that of a true legend.

    I particularly dissent referring to him as applying outdated approach..not keeping with current standards etc. We have a strict term of reference in this blog to keep our dignity and that of others high as we deliberate issues touching on personalities. Its the reason the office took the opinion of keeping AWILO in GM ranks majorly due to sensible the way it was articulated.



  12. Bloggers, I think we are now going too much? What is daktari to do with injuries due to poor playing fields? Injuries are usually common with football games all over the world. What about the team trainer? Is the trainer also the cause of all injuries?

    We just need to have a long term solution but not accussing Dr Ogutu. Our prayers is always for the players to stay fit and finally we will win all our games gentlemen.

    Stop this figure pointing. This is not healthy for the club at all.

  13. I wonder if it’s the physios at ManU who are to blame for players like Vidic, Nani etc having injuries!! Let’s be carefull what we write on this blog about the same people we are supposed to support. Thanks Mwakio @13 for your suggestion

  14. Agwa Kassam and Mwakio there you go again: ever consistently being the voices of reason!

    This is a matter of concern to us all. What it requires is sober debate without any name calling. I am sure the GM EC has taken cognisance of this issue and the appropriate response is forthcoming especially in view of the fact that this is a very busy season for us.

  15. Finger pointing aside. All we’re suggesting is that Kogalo must change its mentality. Many of these injuries are avoidable with good monitoring. One or two injuries at a time is acceptble. But 10 injuries at the same time means something is wrong with the teams approach. The players need guidance. A qualified person must take responsibility for this.

    2 months back I recall reading a post from Sammy Omollo Pamzo saying that Kogalo players were playing too many games and risked injury. This was during the tour of Nyanza when they played every day. Meanwhile Tusker players were resting.

    Those who doubt that Physios can be fired for too many injuries should read the article below where the physio of the India cricketteam was shown the door because too many players were breaking down.

  16. Mulandi let me remind you about the basics of communication. Communication is all about understanding and being understood.

    If you have an idea you believe you want to convey in this blog then please stop this Portuguese of yours. Just stop making a fool of yourself because us ordinary folk don’t make head or tail of what you are blabbering in Portuguese.

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