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Real escape with hope of progress

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DNA to ID injury-prone players

An unnamed Premier League club has DNA tested its players to help determine who is more injury-prone, according to a leading molecular geneticist.

Professor Marios Kambouris, assistant professor at Yale University School of Medicine, carried out the ground-breaking work following research into tendons and common football injuries by a group of British scientists.

The study profiled more than 100 genetic mutations linked to an increased chance of injuries such as ruptured tendons.

Professor Kambouris said: "I have no idea which players they were but there were good genes in there, things which would positively affect their performance, such as their ability to have better aerobic respiration, which would give them more stamina on the pitch."

The tests could provide obvious advantages for clubs trying to limit injuries to star players, but Professor Nicola Maffulli, of the University of London, who discovered the role played by specific genes in increasing the risk of certain injuries, warned they could be used to weed out high-risk players before they sign for clubs.

"It may be really unfair to have a child who likes football, who may be told he will never make it because he has the wrong set of genes," the professor told The Times.

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