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VIEW FROM RYTON: Coventry City's Pauline Robertson on working with Joe Cole, injury rehabilitation and hard work

10 March 2016

The Sky Blues' senior phyiotherapist gives us an insight into the daily workings of the medical and physio department...

Today, it’s the turn of Senior Physiotherapist Pauline Robertson…

Well, it’s been a really busy season for the physio department at the club. We’ve had a few serious and long-term injuries which always keeps us busy but the other reason, we’ve got a much bigger squad this season which obviously requires more care and attention to make sure we’ve got as many players available as possible for team selection.

It’s great to see James Maddison back out on the pitch and looking better than ever before. He came through a really difficult injury rehabilitation but did really well to come back so soon and that was testament to the amount of hard work he was putting in. I’ve also had a number of Under-21s players have medium to long-term injuries like Jack Finch, Ben Stevenson and Devon Kelly-Evans. 

It’s been a really unlucky season for the medical department so far as the vast majority of our injuries have come from impact during games, rather than any muscle injuries or injuries which could be prevented. Obviously, when you have a few long-term injuries, then more players are brought into the side which means we’ve got a bigger squad this season.

That has its own challenges, noticeably that the age of the squad has gone up. Every player requires different care and attention and as a department, we’ve got to respond to each players’ separate needs. One player who I spent a lot of time with is Joe Cole. He is a great professional and it was fantastic to work with him and get his fitness back up. It required a lot of care given his experiences of injuries in the past and the fact that he hadn’t played much very recently. 

It was a case of building up gradually his training loads and making sure he can play a full 90 minutes. Obviously, that’s not just a case of getting Joe out on the grass and running him into the ground, it requires in-depth planning in regards to the training times, the different movements he’ll be doing and focused gym work alongside that. We work closely with the Sports Science and they often build up the formerly-injured players before going into full training to make sure they don’t break down. It’s been great to see Joe Cole start as many games as he has and seeing him perform well makes the efforts worth it.

I also think it’s been a progressive year for the Under-21s as we’ve had more players to work with and it speaks volumes for the future of the club. With more players, as a department, we’ve given the group more attention and we’ve had a few injuries recently come back so Lee Glover has more players to choose from. Young or old, we work with every single player and I think we’re also very good at listening to the players’ needs as well because I think you’ll always get improved results.

Overall, it’s been a challenging but good season so far for our department. We’ve had injuries but been able to get players back to team selection sooner than prescribed on most occasions and hopefully, we’ll be able to keep the squad fit and healthy for the rest of the season.

Thanks for reading,

Pauline Robertson  

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