This chapter focuses on the lessons taught to us by sports injury research—some of them obvious, some not. We know that two-thirds of all injuries in soccer occur to the ankle, knee, head, leg, or foot. Research has also shown us interesting things about the rate of injury in players with prior injuries. For example, about half of players with ankle sprains have had a prior sprain, and many of those re-injuries happened in the same season. The risk of a sprain increases dramatically in players with a prior sprain. The question is not so much if you will sprain that ankle again as much as it is when you will sprain that ankle again. Another important finding is that a major injury is often preceded by an incompletely rehabilitated minor injury—and that the major injury doesn't necessarily happen to the same body part that had the minor injury.
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