Chief of the Italy national team’s medical staff Enrico Castellacci has cast his eye over Juventus’ secrets to avoiding injuries this season.
This week, a study revealed that the Turin side have successfully been able to reduce the number of injuries suffered by their players during the campaign.
Under Antonio Conte, it is claimed that the club’s players have had 60 per cent fewer injuries than in 2010-11 and 80 per cent fewer than in 2009-10.
Statistically, where Milan have seen players miss a total of 218 games between them this season - a League high - Juve have seen their injured players miss just 40 games - a League low.
Writing in La Gazzetta dello Sport this weekend, fitness expert to the Italian national team Castellacci looked to offer his analysis as to why the Bianconeri’s players are able to avoid injury and maintain a high energy style of play.
“Juventus’ players, after a slight decline in winter, have returned to run, run and run in the first half and second half, until the final minute.
“We saw it against Inter and Napoli and here we are in April, when energy levels begin to drop, but it is as if fatigue does not exist and they are able to play every match as if it is the game of their lives.
“Why them and not others? There’s no secret, just rationality, foresight and some favourable combinations.
“1. There is the Conte effect - he is a prepared and scrupulous Coach who has also surely triggered a grit, determination and personality in the team. Often, mental energies can replace - or add to - physical energies.
“2. The lack of Champions League football - They have had fewer games, opening up the possibility of double training sessions, recovery from fatigue, less emotional fatigue and selective focus on the League and Cup.
“3. Fewer injuries - They have everything appropriate and have a skilfully well-managed medical and physiotherapy team.
“4. Appropriate and varied squad rotation - this has been handled in an excellent way, even from a psychological standpoint for the players, and it has undoubtedly saved the muscles and the joints of the players.
“5. Athletic training - There is unquestionable professional competence in the Bianconeri’s preparations, but also indisputable scientific rationality, especially the work done in the summer. This is often overlooked, but their preparations have certainly worked in a logical manner, identifying in advance the physiological characteristics of each player and then a most appropriate means of training for them.
“6. A final thought, that the Vinovo training ground, both reviled and accused [reports previously cited the humidity at the site as an issue] is perhaps not so bad after all.”