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Jul 17, 2014

Injury Report: Who's fit, who's injured?

ESPN's Last Call crew discuss the concussion scares at the World Cup and debate what needs to be done to prevent serious future injury to players.

Join us for regular injury updates every Friday throughout the season with physioroom.com (@PhysioRoomStore), starting off with who may struggle to be fit for the new campaign:

Kevin Strootman - AS Roma
Injury: Anterior cruciate ligament
Fitness chance for season start: 20 percent

Suffering an ACL injury to his knee back in March, the midfielder missed the World Cup for Netherlands and also a possible transfer to Manchester United. Strootman's prospects for the start of the season are very small, but the defensive midfielder will hope to be back to his best again in the coming months.

Expert view: After undergoing successful surgery this summer, the midfielder began the long road to fitness. Recovery times can differ, but generally 6-9 months is typical, meaning the Roma player has a chance of playing in the Serie A again before any possible move during the January window - Sports injury expert Ben Dinnery.

Marco Reus - Borussia Dortmund
Injury: Ankle ligament tear
Fitness chance for season start: 30 percent

A huge blow for the Germany team came when Reus was ruled out of the World Cup when he turned his ankle against Armenia in their final warm-up game. As it happened, the Germans were able to win the trophy without him, but Reus will be key to Dortmund's hopes of usurping Bayern Munich this season, so BVB will want him back as soon as possible.

Expert view: The Borussia Dortmund midfielder damaged his ankle ligaments -- a partial tear of the syndesmosis joint which connects the tibia and fibula bones. Reus is now out of plaster and could return within three months although his availability for the start of the new Bundesliga season is highly questionable - BD.

Riccardo Montolivo - Milan
Injury: Fractured tibia
Fitness chance for season start: 10 percent

The Italy midfielder missed out on the World Cup just a few weeks before the start of the tournament after breaking his leg against Ireland in a huge body blow for the team. Clearly it made a difference as the Italians failed to progress, and now his club side will be worried that he won't be ready in time to start afresh in Serie A.

Expert view: He underwent surgery at the beginning of June after fracturing his tibia during a World Cup warm-up game. Typically for this type of injury a player is expected to miss around six months, but the AC Milan midfielder will be assessed over the coming weeks to help give a better indication on his likely return date - BD.

Neymar's injury for Brazil at the World Cup will go down as one of the most high profile in history.

Neymar - Barcelona
Injury: Fractured vertebra
Fitness chance for season start: 60 percent

It looked like a horrible injury when Juan Zuniga's knee met Neymar's back in the World Cup quarterfinal clash this summer, and the Brazilian stated afterwards that he could not feel his legs. It ruined Brazil's World Cup, but Barcelona should be able to pair him with Luis Suarez (once his ban is done) and Lionel Messi soon enough.

Expert view: The long-term injury prognosis is good after the Brazilian superstar fractured his third vertebra during the victory over Colombia, however an inch lower and the ramifications could've been far worse. Fortunately doctors confirmed there was no damage to the bone marrow, and with rest and immobilisation the Barcelona player could be back on the field within six weeks - BD.

Theo Walcott - Arsenal
Injury: Anterior cruciate ligament
Fitness chance for season start: 70 percent

Theo Walcott was another player to suffer an ACL tear back in January and, as a result, missed England's dismal showing at the World Cup. Who knows if anything would have been different if the winger had been involved, but Arsenal will want him back quickly to provide plenty of pace from the flanks.

Expert view: The Arsenal winger is almost back to full fitness, and although the player himself refuses to place any time frame on his return, September would provide a realistic target - BD.

Diego Costa - Chelsea
Injury: Hamstring/fatigue
Fitness chance for season start: 80 percent

Diego Costa was given every opportunity to prove his fitness ahead of the World Cup because pf his importance to the Spanish side, but the Brazilian born striker did not have the best of times as La Roja fell at the first hurdle. Moving to Chelsea for 32 million pounds in the summer raised his profile, and he'll be expected to hit the ground running.

Expert view: The hamstring injury which dogged his season run-in and his heavy fixture schedule during 2013-14 ultimately took its toll. A La Liga title decider and a Champions League final combined with trips to Eastern Europe in bid to make Brazil drained the forward physically and mentally. A footballer who enjoys playing on the counterattack and dribbling past defenders looked jaded, tired and a yard short; Costa was suffering from fatigue. A good rest should see Chelsea's new acquisition hit the ground running in August -- BD

Ronaldo - Real Madrid
Injury: Tendonitis
Fitness chance for season start: 95 percent

Ongoing tendonitis issues and a number of muscular problems undoubtedly played a part in his subpar performance in Brazil as Ronaldo struggled to reach top gear for Portugal. The forward is about as strong as they come and has incredible durability, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see him starting the first game for Real Madrid this summer.

Expert view: Debilitating tendonitis pain in a knee gradually increases as activity continues, which is likely a result of a heavy footballing schedule in recent years. With rest and a tailored rehabilitation program which includes eccentric muscle work the long-term prognosis is good although in some cases surgery may be required - BD.

Gary Lewin fell over after celebrating Daniel Sturridge's goal for England against Italy at the World Cup and had to fly home with a dislocated ankle.

Gary Lewin - Arsenal (physiotherapist)
Injury: Dislocated ankle
Fitness chance for season start: 50 percent

In probably one of the most bizarre injuries to occur during the World Cup, England's Gary Lewin suffered a dislocated ankle celebrating a Daniel Sturridge goal; the physiotherapist stepped onto drink bottles in the technical area. Usually more accustomed to treating players than himself, Lewin will see how it feels to be nursed back to fitness.

Expert view: Because of the complex nature of this injury and widespread connective tissue damage associated with a dislocation, Lewin could suffer long-term with ankle instability and weakness. Recovery times vary greatly and are dependent upon the severity of the damage and potential complications.