Early last week Ousmane Dembele ruptured his hamstring. Again. This is far from the first time this has happened. According to TransferMarkt, this is Dembele’s 8th hamstring injury, two of which have been complete tears. So why does this keep happening?
Let’s start by looking at Dembele’s past injury history:
- September 2017- Complete left hamstring rupture
- January 2018- Left hamstring tear
- March 2019- Left hamstring tear
- May 2019- Right hamstring tear
- August 2019- Left hamstring tear
- September 2019- Left hamstring tear
- November 2019- Right hamstring tear
- February 2020- Complete right hamstring rupture
Unfortunately for Dembele, his risk for hamstring injury is higher than most. This is because the biggest risk factor in injury any muscle, is a previous history of injuring that same muscle. In Dembele’s case, he’s had 5 injuries to his left hamstring, and three to his right hamstring- which have caused him to miss over 60 games.
Furthermore, Dembele’s style of play could also be a contributing factor. The French winger is well-known for his blistering pace. But here’s the thing- hamstring injuries often place while players are sprinting. Players like Dembele are who they are because of their speed, so they tend to expose themselves to more high speed running situations during training and matches. Now does that mean Dembele should stop sprinting? Absolutely not- his speed is partly what got him to clubs like Dortmund and Barcelona in the first place. But nonetheless, it could be playing into his injury risk.
Finally, Dembele’s lifestyle could have impacted his injury risk as well. One of the biggest risk factors for injury in general is sleep quality. In 2018, there were several reports stating Dembele was often late for training because he stayed up too late at night playing video games. Now I can’t vouch for the legitimacy of these reports- but if they are true, his lack of sleep could have impacted his injury risk.
Even with all these potential risk factors, 8 injuries in three years is still very surprising. I wish Dembele the best of luck as he heads into surgery, and hope he has a full recovery.