The AFL season is finally in action, and many of you are probably thinking about returning to your own sporting aspirations that have unfortunately been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The AFL preseason is thankfully structured in a way that allows players to slowly build up their agility, speed, endurance and sports-specific skills. This is great as it reduces the player’s chances of sustaining an injury. However, if your sport is one the many that are now back on the cards, you won’t have the luxury of time to experience this gradual build up. NSW government restrictions are making it tough for team sports to return to normal.

COVID-19 and team sports injuries

Experts have predicted a rise in soft-tissue injuries as a result of returning to play following COVID-19 restrictions. In fact, the Bundesliga football team in Germany experienced a huge injury rate when matches resumed on May 16.

This isn’t surprising, as most teams only had 2-3 weeks to prepare for sports. Although many people have been keeping fit by taking up recreational running, this isn’t a substitute for skills like tackling, kicking, sprinting and pivoting.

After the age of 25, your chances of sustaining a soft tissue is increased. If this is you, make sure that you steadily increase your training load and give yourself enough time to recover after practice. It can take 4-6 weeks before you can expose yourself to the full demands of your sport.

Return to team sports safely

Don’t get caught trying to perform at your previous levels. Embrace the process and give yourself the rest you need. If you want to know how to best return to sports, please get in touch with one of our expert sports physiotherapists. Book your appointment online for an exercise plan tailored to your specific needs and current fitness level.