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Hazard: a pre-season injury for the Real Madrid player

The pre-season for footballers has a tendency to produce injuries, due to the intensive physical work-outs they are subjected to as they look to get fit for the season ahead. Long journeys, early starts, boring waits in airports, constant changes of time-zone and a whole number of other factors contribute too to the rash of pre-season injuries. And not just muscle injuries, but serious joint problems too.

Real Madrid's Hazard out before the season starts

Real Madrid’s new star, Eden Hazard, has injured his left thigh. He misses Madrid's opener against Celta Vigo and is expected to be out for three to four weeks. It’s of no major medical significance, but has a serious impact above and beyond that, for Hazard himself, the club and the fans. The player, like all major signings at a big club, needs a period of adaptation: a new city, new team-mates, new ways of life and customs and new culinary habits.

Hazard is yet to show what he can do at Real Madrid. That means psychologically he’s fired up, with a huge desire to show that he’s a top player. This situation leads to him being psychologically anxious, with the body’s systems on high alert, which can, in turn, lead to some lack of neuromuscular coordination, consequently raising the possibility of a lack of precision and with it the possibility of injury. The rectus fermoris, one of the quadriceps, can be a treacherous muscle for footballers - it's vital for fast starts and continuous running, but can cause problems when taken to its limit, particularly when kicking the ball.

Real Madrid must manage Hazard situation carefully

What’s important for Hazard - and by extension Real Madrid - is that the pressure on the player doesn’t lead to a three or four week injury suddenly becoming a problem that keeps him out for two months.