0 Are serious knee injuries in the Premier League really at 'epidemic' levels?

Last season 28 Premier League footballers suffered serious knee ligament injuries - that's the highest number in the past five campaigns. And there were 17 anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries - the most serious kind - which was again more than any of the previous Premier League seasons.

BBC Sport pundit and former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin says "knee problems appear to be at epidemic proportions in the game at the top level" and has called for further research.

The knee joint has several ligaments. The medial (inside) and lateral (outside) collateral ligaments connect the upper and lower leg and help keep the outside of the knee joint stable.

Leicester City's grounds manager John Ledwidge said: "We know that those working within the game - namely managers, players, physios and sports scientists - perceive that there are links with pitches and injuries. But they need to establish why that is the case.

"I'm not a closed book and arguing that it's not a contributing factor because everything is a contributing factor when it comes to players."

"On any one weekend, with the ridiculous transfer fees that are flying around at the minute, we could have upwards of £300m-£400m worth of assets playing on our pitch."

"Certainly at Leicester City we work exceptionally hard to make sure the pitches are kept within certain parameters of firmness, there's an adequate level of moisture, the grass coverage is there for pretty much most of the year, to ensure the players don't get injured and the players have the best possible playing facilities that they can have."

"Taking Ibrahimovic as an example - on that day, on that pitch, on that particular square inch that he landed on, the pitch could've been a contributing factor. But so could his boots, the way he warmed up and how tired he was. All these are contributing factors."

According to research from SportingIntelligence.com and insurance and risk specialists JLT, Premier League clubs paid a total of £177m in wages to injured players last season.

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