Premier League players have been at greater risk of injury over the festive period than some of their European counterparts, researchers have claimed.
Figures published during the English top flight's first winter break suggest its participants were more likely to be injured than those in Spain's LaLiga, Ligue 1 in France or Germany's Bundesliga during the 2018-19 campaign, and researchers from the College of Podiatry believe that could be due in part to the congested programme in December and January.
Consultant podiatric surgeon and college spokesman Trevor Prior said: "This research shows that Premier League players are at more risk of injury than some of the competitor leagues across Europe.
"It is well known that that stress to bone, tendon and muscle requires sufficient time for recovery to avoid overload and injury over time.
"A mid-season player break - something we are pleased to see being trialled for the first time this month - could be an important factor in reducing injury over the season and we look forward to the results."
The study shows the Premier League and Bundesliga experienced a higher number of injuries per player than LaLiga and Ligue 1 both over the whole season and during the winter months.
However, perhaps significantly, England's top division contributed 40 per cent of the total injuries recorded in December 2018 and January 2019 at an average of 2.4 per game when the figure across the board was 1.9.
Premier League players hurt during that period, when 109 games were played in England, 80 in Spain, 76 in France and just 62 in Germany, were out of action for an average of 25.9 days.