One of the most significant issues that was identified after the resumption of the Bundesliga last weekend was the number of injuries reported amongst players on their first day of competitive action after a break of several months,
A case in point came in the Ruhr derby, where Borussia Dortmund midfielder Giovanni Reyna did not even get the chance to compete against their neighbours Schalke, after picking a up a sprain during the warm-up. He was replaced by Thorgan Hazard, who himself later went off injured, whilst two Schalke players, Amine Harit and Jean-Clair Todibo were to suffer the same fate.
A similar pattern occurred in the other matches.
To a certain extent this was predictable. Like all athletes, top flight footballers are supremely fit, but, having been in lockdown for months, and with limited training between them, there physical condition has been eroded.
All of them are suffering from a lack of match fitness which makes them more susceptible to fatigue, whilst their stamina is not at the required level. That also put them at increased risk of muscle strains and tears.
FIFA has recognised some of the inherent dangers to players returning to action after the long lay-off by increasing the number of players allowed per side in a 90-minute match, from three to five, as a temporary measure.
However, in the current circumstances, there are fears that some of these injuries could become serious.
In part this is due to the fact that, when leagues do resume, there will be pressure from football authorities and other key stakeholders, like broadcasters, to conclude them in a compressed time frame, so the following campaigns can start on time, That means there will be less time between matches for rest and recuperation.
In addition, with hundreds of contracts due to expire on June 30th, some players might literally be playing for their futures, desperate either to convince existing clubs to offer them a new deal, or to persuade a new club to offer them a contract for next season.
Therefore, some of them might be prepared to push themselves beyond what their bodies can cope with, perhaps with serious long-term consequences for their careers.