Injuries have plagued the Indian Super League (ISL) since its first week. With a hectic schedule and ageing footballers, casualties have ceased to shock.
It was the same case on Sunday. Hosts Mumbai City FC went into the game against Chennaiyin FC with their star striker, Nicolas Anelka, sitting out with a groin injury. The visitors on the other hand had their top goal-scorers Elano and Stiven Mendoza on the causality list. In the match, another hamstring injury hit Mumbai’s Andre Moritz, the team’s top goal-scorer so far in the season.
While that meant an entry for Freddie Ljungberg, who himself made a return from a similar injury, the void left by the departure of Moritz was felt hard as Mumbai lost 0-3.
With a swelling injury list, it is prudent that the hectic schedule comes under more scrutiny.
With hardly any rest days allotted between games, recovery time is bare minimum.
Chennaiyin FC coach, Marco Materazzi, had claimed before the game on Sunday that injuries did not affect the squad. While his players proved it on match day, the same could not be said of Mumbai, who are struggling.
According to Mumbai City FC coach, Peter Reid, it has become a pre-requisite for them to plan for injuries before each game.
“The schedule has been stressful. But it’s the same for all. I guess it is about having depth in the squad,” he said. “The absence of two big players like Anelka and Moritz is a huge loss. We felt it today.”