Friday 20 October 2017

Liverpool dismiss head physio as medical shake-up continues

Anfield
Anfield

Chris Bascombe

Liverpool have undergone another shake-up of their medical department with the shock dismissal of Head of Physiotherapy Andy Renshaw.

Renshaw was only appointed to first-team duties 15 months ago, when he replaced the long-serving Chris Morgan, but manager Jurgen Klopp has seen fit to make further changes.

When Morgan left – he has since joined Crystal Palace - Renshaw was promoted from a similar position within the club’s Academy, where he worked from 2009.

There has been major restructure in the sports science department since Klopp took over at Anfield as he has recruited several staff from Germany.

Wales’ fitness and conditioning coach Ryland Morgans – who was part of the Brendan Rodgers regime – was another high-profile exit shortly after Klopp’s appointment.

Klopp has looked to strengthen the Bundesliga influence on Merseyside, with head of fitness and conditioning Andreas Kornmeyer moving to the club from Bayern Munich in the summer of 2016 and another physio, Christopher Rohrbeck, joining from Mainz ahead of last pre-season.

Naturally, each appointment has their own view on the best means of treating, rehabilitating and preventing injuries – a subject that has been regularly dissected given the manager’s particularly intense brand of football.

Renshaw’s exit is a surprise and the timing particularly curious. Earlier this week he conducted an interview with the Liverpool fan site ‘Rousing The Kop’ which gave no inkling he was about to leave Anfield.

During that interview, Renshaw was bullish about Liverpool’s injury record and his role in helping to reduce such setbacks.

“I started in July 2016, and during that season we reduced preventable (non-contact, soft tissue) injuries by 63 per cent compared to the season prior,” he said.

“The days missed due to these reduced from 623 days for season 2015-16, to 144 days missed during 2016-17. The number of these injuries also reduced from 30 in 2015-16 to 11 in 2016-17. In 2015-16 there were 17 hamstring injuries, last season we had three. I could go on believe me.”

Liverpool have not especially suffered with injuries this season. The most significant absentee is Adam Lallana, who has been missing since the summer with a thigh problem, but Klopp has often attributed such setbacks to bad luck.

Klopp has often been asked whether his style of play makes his players more susceptible to injury and last year he publicly responded to long-time social media critic Raymond Verheijen on the matter. The Dutch coach, formerly of Holland and Wales’ backroom staff, has provided a critical running commentary on every Liverpool injury setback.

Liverpool must now decide who will assume senior physiotherapy duties ahead of their next Premier League fixture with Manchester United next weekend.

Telegraph.co.uk

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