Head of Medical and Sports Science Stijn Vandenbroucke issues an update – in association with Spire Roding Hospital...
We had a successful Tour to the United States, where we had the use of great facilities which enabled us to train and recover very hard.
We travelled back, enjoyed a few days off and some of the players attended the Home Kit launch event, and now the squad has gone to Austria.
Unfortunately we picked up a serious injury to Doneil Henry. Doneil will be out for six to eight weeks with a ligament injury suffered in the pre-season match at Carolina Railhawks.
Some players picked up small fatigue-related injuries which are not really a problem but should not be underestimated. Other players have issues that need ongoing management.
This means that, while everybody has been training in Austria, not all of them will feature in the back-to-back games against Slovacko – which we drew 2-2 on Tuesday – and Rubin Kazan on Wednesday evening.
We individualise the programme to maximise the performance and availability, without compromising the hard training.
Andy Carroll trained fully this week, but he did not play on Tuesday night. This is Andy’s first pre-season in several years. We are trying to find the correct balance between training and recovery.
Andy has an individual programme where he does 90 per cent of the pre-season and sometimes has an extra day’s rest or works in the gym.
Likewise, Winston Reid did not train on Tuesday and also missed the Slovacko game.
It is a constant cycle of hard training and recovery, being recovered and prepared enough for the next hard session.
A number of players have joined the squad for this training camp, all of whom have slightly different fitness levels.
Michail Antonio and Josh Cullen missed the US Tour but have trained with the U21s and the rehab-fitness coach for some time now and featured in a game for 45 minutes, so they are ready.
Then you have Cheikhou Kouyate, Enner Valencia and Gokhan Tore who joined up on 11 July, have worked hard with the U21s and fitness coach Eamon Swift.
After their impressive showings at Euro 2016, Angelo Ogbonna, Ginge and Dimitri Payet will join the team in the near future.
Head of Medical and Sports Science