Arthur Glushchenko: The more coaching changes, the more injuries players get

The pages of the latest issue of the Shakhtar interactive magazine feature a big interview with the chief medical officer of the club. Arthur Glushchenko has told about the risks and responsibilities, sharing the secrets of his work and remembering a number of interesting cases he has experienced.

- How many players have you worked with?
- It is better not to count. I remember every one of them – since the first Shakhtar-2 team. There were three guys from Donetsk: Vorobey, Khomutov and Sanjar. The latter, as you know, now works as the coach... In fact, these are my first patients in sport.

- Has there been any Shakhtar player, who has never been injured?
- No, there has not been anyone without injuries at all. But some have had only minor injuries. Among those, who still play, Darijo Srna, Vyacheslav Shevchuk have rarely got injured. There are a lot of factors. One of them is the genetic susceptibility of an organism. The second component is when a person constantly monitors his physical form, with working on it. There is also another aspect, which is recognized around the world: the more coaches and training processes change, the higher number of injuries. Everyone gets accustomed to a system of training, and here comes the coach with his own approach. In this case, other muscles are involved. So the fact that Mister has been working for 12 years is good also from the medical point of view!

- This is a good illustration of why a player often gets injured after moving to another team.
- Two years ago, there was an example of that. We bought seven new players, six of which got injuries of various degrees. Nem, Ferreyra, Ismaily, Fernando... Only Fred has passed through that period without injuries. By the way, Douglas Costa and Fred are among those who are less prone to injuries.

- Is there a difference between the Slavic and Brazilian players in terms of physical condition?
- Among Brazilians, there are different players in that regard. Or Africans, for example. Among them, there are stayers - they can run long distances, but they lack explosiveness in terms of pace. And there are guys who possess high acceleration attributes. Aghahowa was one of them: fast, pacey, but he had less endurance. As for medical check-ups, then there are absolute and relative contraindications to sport. In the first case, we are categorically against the signing of the contract, in the second case we make the club aware of the fact that a player has a high risk of getting injured. Medicine does not stand still. Aortic insufficiency was a relative contraindication, but now, on the contrary, it is believed that the first degree of the disease contributes to a good adaptability of the heart to physical stress.

- Previously players would play thanks to injections. Club doctors have turned a blind eye to it...
- Again, it all depends on the degree of risk. When it comes to injury or, say, the nerve is inflamed, it can be numbed without consequences. I made the last such injection to Darijo in Zaporizhzhya, when he had a bruised chest feeling a sharp pain. I had to do it during the half time break. He finished the game without problems. This injection shall not exceed the risk of getting a bigger injury.

The full version of the article can be found in our online edition. Shakhtar magazine is available for free download.