Saturday saw Sunderland’s German midfielder Jan Kirchhoff become the latest casualty on Wearside, as the queue for the treatment table gets longer and longer for David Moyes. Sunderland’s injury worries are not a new phenomenon, however, since the turn of the calendar year, many had believed that the days of constant injuries were behind them.
When Sam Allardyce arrived at Sunderland he implemented his philosophies around cryotherapy and data analysis. Big Sam was the first manager in England to use Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) five years ago and has used it at every club he has managed since and the results at Sunderland speak for themselves. The WBC treatment lasts only minutes at temperatures as low as -140°C and they help reduce the impact on soft tissue injuries, as well as aiding playing and training fatigue and the effects of travel tiredness. Players such as Jan Kirchhoff, Lee Cattermole and Younes Kaboul clearly benefited from Big Sam’s philosophies and their injury record and form speak for themselves during the latter part of last season.
This campaign has seen us suffer though - we have the most injuries in the entire league, with a whopping nine players currently with an injury or knock.
Sunderland’s Swedish midfielder was the first to book his place in the treatment room prior to David Moyes’ arrival having undergone knee surgery in the summer for an ongoing issue. Larsson was ruled out for six months and is pencilled in for a return to first-team action during the festive period.
This was perhaps the most Sunderland injury ever; knackering your groin because you took a naff free-kick! Borini ruled himself out for three months because of his woeful set-piece against Southampton, with the forward proving a big miss for Moyes’ side.
Mannone returned back to training just yesterday after suffering an elbow injury, but he will still face a lengthy spell out on the sidelines. With Jordan Pickford excelling after finally getting his chance as our number one, maybe Sunderland aren't missing him too much right now.
A man who has had the past few seasons blighted by muscle injuries, Pienaar arrived on a free transfer this summer and his muscle issues have come with him. The South African is out for a number of weeks with a hamstring issue that forced him off against Crystal Palace. Pienaar has done well when he has played and it’s a shame that his injury record looks to hinder his career again.
The Palace game also saw Sunderland lose their Belgian playmaker Adnan Januzaj for six weeks with an ankle injury. Januzaj has been very hit and miss so far but his talent is undoubted and with Sunderland short of attacking options, he will be a big loss.
Another man who was signed by Moyes with a well-known muscle injury record. Anichebe has managed just the one cameo appearance for Sunderland so far, with a small injury ruling him out for our last match.
Sunderland’s leader on the pitch has missed most of the season, firstly with a double-hernia and now through a back injury. This one is simply bad luck and couldn’t be avoided, however, Cattermole has been a huge miss in the centre of Sunderland’s midfield.
The Black Cats’ young keeper was withdrawn from England Under-21 duty to receive treatment on an injury picked up against West Brom, with Pickford now in a race to be fit for the next league clash.
The latest injury for Jan Kirchhoff is yet another hamstring injury which will rule the German out for six to eight weeks. Although Kirchhoff has been in poor form this season, he will be a miss and is arguably Sunderland’s best player when fit and on form.
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