'Injury Time' with Dr Nematswerani

Compared to the same stage of the league season last year, I must say the 'Birds' medical room currently resembles a 'Malaria Ward' in Iceland - almost empty!

With injury rates at some stage last season rocketing to as high as 12 players out injured in one week, going into this Sunday's SAA semi-final the list of injured players at Swallows goes as follows:

1. Sibusiso Dlamini.

Injured whilst playing for his country.

Diagnosis: Left ankle injury (lateral ligament sprain, peroneal tendinopathy).

Treatment: Still undergoing treatment and rehabilitation.

Opinion: Out for this weekend.

2. Mohamed Ouseb.

Injured last season.

Diagnosis: Right knee injury (Anterior Cruciate ligament tear).

Treatment: Operated in April 2006. Still undergoing rehabilitation.

Opinion: Out for six months. He will be fit by November 2006.

3. Bjorn Gugger:

He has just returned from a right knee injury (iliotibial band syndrome=ITBS, Biceps femoris tendinopathy). Started training with the rest of the team about 15 days ago. Bjorn played a full match on Wednesday night, September 20. However, during a routine post-match evaluation he complained of a recurrence of the same injury.

Opinion: Should be fit for Sunday match, but this will depend on the late fitness tests to be conducted later in the week.


ACL tear is a sprain (tear) of one of the four major ligaments of the knee. The ACL is a ropelike structure that helps maintain the normal relationship of the femur (thigh bone) and the tibia (leg bone). This ligament is most important in sports that require pivoting, changing direction (cutting), or jumping and landing. When torn, this ligament does not heal, although it may attach by scar tissue to other structures of the knee.

Tears of the ACL are not uncommon. They are the most common cause of prolonged absence from sport, particularly soccer. The most recent casualty of this injury is Michael Owen (Newcastle United and England). Subject to correction, Moroka Swallows is probably the first soccer team in the world to have had two players tearing their ACL's in one match (Shaun Permal and Ouseb against Santos last season).

Common signs and symptoms:
At the time of the injury the player often describes an audible 'pop', 'crack' or feeling of 'something going out and then back'. Knee swelling within six/eight hours after the injury. Inability to straighten knee.

- Force that exceeds the strength of the ligament.
- May result from non-contact injury eg. landing from a jump, pivoting, or sudden deceleration, all of which are the main physical movements in soccer.

Preventive measures:
- Appropriate warm-up and stretching before match/training.
- Appropriate conditioning, eg knee flexibility, muscle strength and endurance, cardiovascular fitness.
- Proper training technique.
- Proper training/playing equipment for surface, eg. multi-or six-studs soccer boots.

For all intents and purposes, treatment is surgical (operation), especially for those who want to return to sports such as soccer.



Dr Humbulani Ephraim Nematswerani
Sports Physician/Travel Med Consultant
Moroka Swallows FC.

- 'Amakhosi' through to SAA Supa 8 final
- Birds v Chiefs: minute by minute
- 'Injury Time' with Dr Nematswerani
- David - 'Focus on Tshwane derby'
- Sundowns clip Swallows' wings
- 'Derbies'preparations going smoothly
- Hunt: 'Let there be goals!'
- 'Rabbits' hold 'Birds' to goalless draw
- Birds announce transport arrangements
- Birds 'Captain Fantastic' returns

Sunday, September 24
SAA Supa 8 Semi-final
Swallows v Kaizer Chiefs
Venue: ABSA Stadium

Saturday, September 30
Castle Premiership
Ajax v Moroka Swallows
Venue: Newlands Stadium

Sunday, October 15
Castle Premiership
Moroka Swallows v Cosmos
Venue: Germiston Stadium

Sunday, October 22
Castle Premiership
Arrows v Moroka Swallows
Venue: King Zwelithini

Sunday, September 17
Castle Premiership
0-0 vs Benoni P. United
Venue: Meadowlands Stadium

Wednesday, September 13
Castle Premiership (POSTPONED)
Moroka Swallows vs Orlando Pirates
Venue: Germiston Stadium

Sunday, September 10
Castle Premiership
1-0 vs Silver Stars
Venue: Royal Bafokeng Stadium

Saturday, August 26
Castle Premiership
0-2 vs Black Leopards
Venue: Thohoyandou Stadium

Sunday, August 20
SAA Supa 8 Q/F
2-1 vs Silver Stars
Venue: Germiston Stadium

Will Moroka Swallows win the SAA Supa 8?