The players, both first team and academy, reported back at staggered times as they underwent medical and fitness tests in several stations at MK1. All bases were covered in the tests – from fat percentage, to joint movement to heart screening – as the Sports Medicine and Sports Science department gathered vital information for the season ahead.
Head of Sports Medicine, Simon Crampton, explained the importance of the day to mkdons.com, he said: “The boys have reported back today and we’ve done a number of different tests with them from a physio/medical point of view and from a fitness point of view to make sure they are fit and ready to go back into training.
“On top of that, it is important that we have a baseline of where they are at the start of the season so if anything does happen to them we know their movement and strength scores and things like that.
“It is also part of our injury prevention programme, if someone is not scoring high enough in a certain test or does have enough range in a movement we can implement different strategies and regimes to counter-attack them and, potentially, make them less prone to injury.”
So what was involved in the testing programme?
“There are few tests we have put them through today. First of all they had their heights and weights recorded and their body fat measured, which is to make sure they haven’t enjoyed their holidays more than they should have.
“We also test the joint ranges so we look at the movements of each joint; this is part of the injury prevention side. We also do some strength testing, again we look at various joints and the muscles which affect those joints, and making sure that the strength is where we would like it to be. Also, should someone get injured during the season we know how strong that joint or muscle should be and we have a target to get it back to.
“We also do heart screens which are very important; we run a heart screening programme every year. We have always run the screening programme, certainly in the last six years. The team come from Harley Street to screen the squad for any abnormalities, touch wood we have never had any, and it gives us a bit of peace of mind knowing there is nothing underlying there.
“It is a lot of work in one day for the medical team but it gives us important data which we will use for the remainder of the season.”
The real hard work for the players will start tomorrow when, after some more tests in the morning, the fitness work on the pitch begins.