Arthur Glushchenko: Based on medical performance, Shakhtar among top seven clubs of Europe

The chief medical officer of Shakhtar has taken part in the international congress of physicians UEFA Injury Study Meeting. After returning from Barcelona, Arthur Glushchenko has shared his impressions.

- The first congress took place in 2010. Since then, it has been held annually after the Champions League finals, featuring doctors of the clubs that participate in the above European tournament. Traditionally, the first part of the meeting was about results of the injury studies, and the second one was practical: the most interesting medical cases that occurred among the players in the past year were considered. A special theme of this congress was the genetic analysis, through which you can determine whether the player is prone to injuries of the musculoskeletal system. This question was first raised by Barcelona three years ago. Yes, the method has not been fully studied, but it has great prospects. Today it is possible to determine at the genetic level whether a person is predisposed to a tendon injury. And it is very important for the conclusion of contracts with the players. Therefore, this subject is interesting not only to doctors, but also the management of clubs.

- What did Shakhtar present?
- The programme of the meeting was agreed in advance. But, alas, the last time we could not get to congress. Because on that day, May 26, the fighting broke out in the Donetsk airport. So I was not able to fly. However, this year there was an attempt to hold a second meeting under the auspices of UEFA. But it took place in the winter, and at this time we were at the training camp in Brazil.

- Has been anything else useful at this congress, except for the method of genetic analysis?
- We looked at and analysed the system of Barcelona regarding the treatment of muscle injuries, discussed various medical issues, shared our knowledge. Reports on the prevention of muscular injuries were also made by representatives of Borusia (Dortmund). Most importantly, the audience of the congress was small (30-35 people), and it was not limited to reports. During major forums one would mostly listen to presentations and ask questions, here, in turn, most of the time was devoted to the discussion of all these issues. There is a debate. This is more efficient.

- What place in terms of injuries and players’ recovery are Shakhtar occupying compared to other clubs of the Champions League?
- It is pleasant to note that in recent years Shakhtar have been among the top seven clubs in Europe. There a special programme. Now it involves 21 clubs, including us. Starting from next year, it will be 32. Twice a year we get comparative information regarding all teams. It includes the percentage of injured players, the information on muscle injuries, ankle injuries, common diseases and the percentage of players participating in the training sessions, games and so on. It also features the periods of treatment of certain injuries, set by the best teams in Europe. In addition, there is total calculation of workloads of players in different clubs: the number of matches, training sessions per month. Again, there is something to compare.

- Do you regularly exchange information regarding players?
- Yes, every month we send this information. Naturally, they are encoded – you cannot learn about what players is talked about; it is impossible! An important point: the information is sent only with the consent of the player, it is a prerequisite.

- The next congress will be held in six months, won’t it?
- With regard to the interim meeting, there is not an unambiguous decision yet. The main conference will be held in Lisbon after the next Champions League; that is, one year. It will be hosted by Sporting. The schedule is designed for several years ahead. Let me remind you that Shakhtar hosted this forum in 2012, before the European Championship.

FC Shakhtar