What started a year ago as a partnership between FC Edmonton and the University of Alberta’s Glen Sather Sports Medicine Clinic (GSSMC) has proven to still be going strong with the completion of player pre-season medicals in early February.
FC Edmonton, a Canadian professional soccer team, relies on pre-season medical testing to identify any current injuries and assess the potential risk for future injuries in players.
Glen Sather Clinic’s Dr. Terry DeFreitas, director of sports medicine and Christina Le, physiotherapist led the charge along with FC Edmonton’s Jose Jimenez, head athletic therapist, to make sure players were in tip-top shape for the upcoming season. FC Edmonton players, or ‘Eddies’, as they are often called, also take part in strength and conditioning activities at the U of A’s High Performance Training and Research Centre, led by Michael Cook.
“Injuries are very prevalent in soccer players, especially lower leg injuries, hamstring injuries, groin pulls and ankle sprains,” DeFreitas says. “If not treated properly, players can be down for a lot longer than they already have to be.”
For FC Edmonton centre forward Tomi Ameobi, unwanted down time due to injury is all too familiar.
“It’s pretty common to have a few bothersome injuries throughout the season, but I’ve already had four major injuries that have kept me out of the game for some time,” says Ameobi. “The first injury I ever had to deal with was a tear in my right calf which kept me down for around six weeks. After that I experienced the aggravation of an old knee injury due to over use, a hairline fracture in my right foot, and a rotator cuff injury.
The worst was the hairline fracture, though, as I was out of the game for two and a half months.”
But Ameobi no longer has to worry about not being able to take part in his passion for weeks or months at a time. Since partnering with the Glen Sather Clinic, the fourth-season player hasn’t suffered any relapses.
“Not only has the Glen Sather Clinic gotten me back to full fitness, they also identified other areas of my body that were susceptible to injuries—areas I wasn’t even aware of—and came up with programs to prevent any future issues.”
And that’s just within this first year of the partnership. Before FC Edmonton and Glen Sather Clinic officially teamed up, the Clinic was already playing a key role in the recovery of injured players.
The U of A’s Glen Sather Clinic serves the needs of active individuals through patient care, education and research. The clinic is a social enterprise whose main purpose is for the public good. Profits from the clinic are reinvested to support patients through community services, research and training future health-care professionals.
“Before Glen Sather Clinic began working with the club last year, they were integral in helping me return to my full fitness ahead of schedule when I suffered an injury,” says Ameobi. “They did everything from assessing my injuries to ensuring I received access to the best available rehabilitation programs.”
Now, Glen Sather Clinic and FC Edmonton’s partnership is in full-force, helping players direct their energy toward going for gold instead of healing their wounds.
“Having worked with various medical teams throughout my career, I would recommend Glen Sather Clinic, not only to people suffering from injury but also to those who want to stay injury-free,” says Ameobi. “They are brilliant at communicating regularly with FC Edmonton staff and players during pre- and post-rehabilitation to monitor progression.
But what makes them really stand out from the crowd is the care they have for their patients and the heart they put into their work.”
FC Edmonton’s 2017 season starts April 2, 2017 with their first game at Hodges Stadium facing the Jacksonville Armada FC. They face the team again during their first home game at Clarke Stadium on April 8. For information and tickets, visit fcedmonton.com.