Is City's injury list due to misfortune or methods?

PUBLISHED: 17:00 25 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:10 25 September 2019

Norwich City captain Christoph Zimmermann finds himself out until the New Year after this challenge by West Ham striker Sebastien Haller. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Norwich City captain Christoph Zimmermann finds himself out until the New Year after this challenge by West Ham striker Sebastien Haller. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

Canaries' correspondent Connor Southwell analyses the current injury situation for Norwich City, as they sit top of the Premier League's injury list.

Norwich City defender Timm Klose couldn't hide his frustration as he limped off at Crawley Picture: Gareth Fuller/PANorwich City defender Timm Klose couldn't hide his frustration as he limped off at Crawley Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA

It's been well documented just how populated the treatment rooms at Colney have become of late.

Since the beginning of pre-season, City head coach Daniel Farke has had little room to manoeuvre or experiment with the lack of operators at his disposal due to niggling injuries, particularly in the defensive area of the pitch.

That theme is something that has been carried into the season, with a depleted squad forcing Farke's hand in terms of those selected.

City's list of walking wounded places them at the top of the league's absentee table ahead of a trip to Selhurst Park on Saturday. Given the long-term diagnosis' of several players, supporters will be nervously awaiting Farke's updates at tomorrow's pre-match press conference.

An abundance of crocked players has left a thin squad seemingly threadbare, with last Saturday's trip to Burnley adding Alex Tettey to the list of those missing.

Medical lingo has become mainstream for those of a yellow and green persuasion as they continue to digest numerous set-backs for the players. Farke himself cut a dejected figure in that, now infamous pre-match press conference he delivered prior to conquering Manchester City.

Yet, these injuries beg the question of whether City find themselves a victim of circumstance or whether methods employed at Colney are causing this pile-up of medical frustrations.

The swarms of data available to the sports scientist staff at Colney aren't widely circulated to the masses, and rightly so.

Alex Tettey was forced off early with a muscle injury in Norwich City's 2-0 Premier League defeat at Burnley 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdAlex Tettey was forced off early with a muscle injury in Norwich City's 2-0 Premier League defeat at Burnley Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Farke was keen to praise his sports science team for their work in accelerating Emi Buendia's recovery in January of last season, ensuring he was available in a critical period of games during their promotion success.

Interestingly, City's head of performance, Chris Domogalla, stated that City have altered their approach on the training pitches following their top-flight return.

Speaking to Training Ground Guru, he said: "What we had already worked out from the stats was that the number of high-intensity sprints was more in the Premier League than we had been used to during our two seasons in the Championship.
"You have to concentrate all of the time, or else you can be punished. Building concentration and mental fitness has been something we've worked on in our training scenarios."

Striking a balance between pushing players to a level of consistent competition in the Premier League and attempting not to hurt them is a difficult one to strike.

Ralf Fahrmann of Norwich during the Pre-season friendly match at Energieversum Stadion, Gutersloh
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267
14/07/2019Ralf Fahrmann of Norwich during the Pre-season friendly match at Energieversum Stadion, Gutersloh Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 14/07/2019

Some would argue that an increased load would lead to more injuries, given the extra strain placed onto the body; increasing the risk of physical damage. City's head of performance explains how this extra work load is centred around improving mentality and ensuring players were mentally ready for the intensity of the Premier League.

"I'm 100pc sure that in pre-season we were doing stuff where we could have reached the same level with less volume and intensity, but it's not always that simple. You might want to make a player more resilient in terms of mindset because mental fatigue can stop them from reaching the next physical level, so you push the intensity to achieve that."

Domogalla describes himself as 'the most annoying coach' in pre-season as he continuously asks the players to take autonomy of their recovery process, explaining how the performance plans held by the staff need to align with the footballing philosophy devised by Farke.

Farke himself has explained in recent weeks how the load isn't effecting players fitness, stating that his woes have come about due to impact injuries during games.

Onel Hernandez's cut and thrust have been missed since his injury layoff. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdOnel Hernandez's cut and thrust have been missed since his injury layoff. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Last season, injuries were frequent but more niggly, with significantly fewer players enduring a spell of the sidelines for an extended period. As opposed to being out for weeks, they are out for months. Timm Klose's and Christoph Zimmermann's injuries were due to tackles from an opponent, proving that fortune has been a factor in the lengthy list of players out injured.

For those who occupy the treatment rooms and compile the data, it'll be about ensuring a successful recovery period to strength Farke's operations as the season unfolds.

Whether it's down to misfortune or methods, Norwich City will be hoping for more a more positive injury bulletin as the season progresses.

Current injuries

Timm Klose

Injury (27/08/19): Knee ligament

How was it sustained?: Impact injury suffered at Crawley (a)

Potential return: 01/06/2020

Christoph Zimmermann

Injury (31/08/19): Foot ligament injury

How was it sustained?: Impact injury suffered at West Ham (a)

Potential return: 11/01/2019

Onel Hernandez

Injury (16/08/19): Knee injury

How was it sustained?: Falling down the stairs at his some?

Potential return: 30/11/2019

Tom Trybull

Injury (31/09/19): Ankle ligament injury

How was it sustained?: Suffered away at West Ham (a)

Potential return: 19/10/2019

Max Aarons

Injury (09/09/19): Ankle Injury

How was it sustained?: Goal saving tackle whilst on England U21 duty

Potential return: 19/10/2019

Mario Vrancic

Injury (13/09/19): Calf Strain

How was it sustained?: Suffered during training

Potential return: This week

Ralf Fahrmann

Injury (20/09/19): Groin Strain

How was it sustained?: Suffered during training

Potential return: 28/09/19

Alex Tettey

Injury (21/09/19): Quad or Groin Strain

How was it sustained?: Suffered at Burnley (a)

Potential return: Still being assessed

Tim Krul

Injury (21/09/19): Lower back injury

How was it sustained?: During warm-up at Burnley (a)

Potential return: Still being assessed

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