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United aiming to predict injuries

Manchester United are hoping to emulate AC Milan's famed Milanello complex in order to predict which players are likely to become injury prone in the near future as the club looks to overcome its growing list of unavailable players.

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United will subsequently add a scientific approach to its activities at their £13 million facility opening at Carrington next month, according to a report in the Independent newspaper. The new facility will provide MRI and ultrasound services which will allow the club's 40 medical staff to examine individual muscle fibres and fluids to pre-empt fitness concerns.

According to the Physio Room website, United suffered the worst injury list in the Premier League last season. Sir Alex Ferguson's men picked up 39 significant injuries, which cumulatively ruled players out of action for 1681 days.

The United boss is desperate to combat the problem, explaining the club had just eight medical staff when he joined in 1986 and has since added significant resources in order to provide players the best quality assistance.

"There was one ultrasound machine [in 1986]. That was it - and we all fought for it," he said. "Football pitches pose problems with injuries. The game's new Desso pitches are lush on top with their three per cent synthetic-grass fibres but require copious watering to allow some give."

The new facility will also allow Ferguson to more thoroughly examine prospective new signings, instead of relying on medical tests done in private hospitals.

Ferguson concluded that United's partnership with Toshiba to create a world-class medical complex "will put us above most clubs in the world."


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