OBJECTIVE: To evaluate injuries occurring during the preseason in youth soccer players.
DESIGN: Prospective cohort study over 1 preseason.
SETTING: 2009-2010 preseason.
PARTICIPANTS: Subjects were 912 youths aged 12 to 19 years.
ASSESSMENT OF RISK FACTORS: The club's medical staff prospectively recorded all injuries. A reportable injury was defined as by the consensus statement on soccer injuries. Estimated injury rates per 1000 hours of exposure during the preseason period were calculated.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Injury rates (injuries per 1000 hours of soccer exposure) during preseason practices by age group, as well as prevalence, severity, and type of injuries.
RESULTS: Total incidence was 2.5 injuries per 1000 hours of exposure. Incidence of match and training injuries were 6.7 and 1.8 injuries per 1000 hours (P = 0.02), respectively. Injuries were sustained by 7.2% of players during the preseason, and 79% of the injuries involved the lower limbs, of which 23% were located to the thigh. Muscle strains and contusions were the most common injuries and external trauma the main cause.
CONCLUSIONS: No age-related trend in the incidence of preseason injuries was found. During the preseason training period, athletic trainers should expect a majority of muscle strains, especially in the thigh region.