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Constructing a framework for Return to Sport in elite football (PhD Academy Award)
  1. Matt Taberner
  1. School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool L3 3AF, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Matt Taberner, School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool L3 3AF, UK; matthewtaberner{at}

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What did I do?

The primary aim of my research was to construct a conceptual framework for on-pitch rehabilitation to help guide practitioners in the Return to Sport (RTS) process following injury in elite football. I then described how the framework was used to support RTS following; a common injury (hamstring strain), a rare injury (traumatic fracture) and a severe injury (anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR)).

Why did I do it?

Injury and re-injury are major problems in elite football.1 Inadequate rehabilitation is a risk factor for re-injury2 and football clubs strive to continually improve rehabilitation and RTS of injured players. The absence of specific frameworks to guide the on-pitch rehabilitation process was a surprising gap in the contemporary sports science literature.

How did I do it? Key elements of the control–chaos continuum

I developed an approach to rehabilitation and RTS over a decade in my roles of applied sports science and rehabilitation in the English Premier League (EPL) (figure 1). I embedded this experience and key elements of the RTS process defined in the literature into a framework for on-pitch rehabilitation. My goal was to progress the athlete from a setting …

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  • Twitter @MattTaberner

  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it published Online First. Figure 2 caption has been corrected.

  • Funding This doctoral study was funded by Everton Football Club.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.