Arsenal Women boss Jonas Eidevall says that the club will do their part in assessing how to mitigate the risk of ACL injuries to its players. Female players are around six times more likely to rupture their ACLs than their male counterparts.
Leah Williamson ruptured her ACL on Wednesday evening, becoming the third player in the squad to suffer the injury this season after Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema.
“It’s a tough injury and she is being very logical about it,” Jonas Eidevall said in his pre-Wolfsburg press conference. “She has been around the training ground which I think is great to stay connected with her team and the people around her.
“Of course we are going to miss Leah like we are missing Beth and Viv. But it is about always looking forward, unfortunately injuries are a part of elite sports and we still need to manage that as individuals and as a group and make the best of the situation.”
We can confirm that Leah Williamson suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament on Wednesday night.
We're all right behind you, @leahcwilliamson ❤️
— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) April 21, 2023
Eidevall said it is difficult to pinpoint the exact reason that Williamson twisted her knee on Wednesday but thinks, overall, there are a variety of factors leading to these injuries in women’s football.
“I said I didn’t think the pitch was perfect but what causes an injury like that is multi-faceted. It’s a combination of load- physically and mentally, luck in that moment. You never know fully why you got into that situation.
“What is important is going forward, we have to see where the sport is heading but we can see that there are more competitive games. It is more intensity than ever before and we know that’s a development that is going to increase.
“Now we know that, it is up to the football associations and the clubs to say that now that we know that, now we know the risks, what can we do? How can we learn? Are there things we can do better to adapt? Hopefully there is.”
Arsenal are far from alone in suffering multiple ACL injuries in their squad. Lyon endured three in 12 months, Aston Villa and Tottenham have also suffered three in just over a year in their respective squads.
Nevertheless, Arseblog News asked Eidevall whether the club will conduct an internal review given the number of ACL injuries suffered this season.
“As a club, we need to look at the factors that we can control and do as well as we can too. We are not sticking our heads in the sand and blaming external factors we have to look inside and see what we can change and do better.
“We are consistently doing injury audits, not just because of these injuries but we have been doing it since before I arrived. This is no different.
“First and foremost we always look internally to find solutions on what we can do better and that has to be the way we think about all things that we do and this is no exception.”