Not much Dons could do to prevent long-term injuries last season
"We are confident we did everything we could"
Longer-term injuries at Stadium MK went up last year, but Simon Crampton admitted there was little the Dons medical staff could have done to prevent them.
While short-term injuries (under 28 days) went down last season, there were more severe injuries (lasting longer than 28 days) to players.
Jordan Houghton, Jay Bird, and Warren O'Hora were amongst those who went under the knife last season, while David Kasumu, Joe Mason and Ben Gladwin spent significant time out of the side.
"In terms of the number of injuries, they've been quite low but we saw a higher instance of severe injuries," he said. "It's the lowest it's been for a long time, since Karl Robinson's time, but the severity went up this year, and we saw a few players have to go for surgery towards the end of the season. There are lots of underlying factors when getting an injury, not all of them are preventable.
"We did analysis on our severe injuries and we were comfortable with where we were with those, we were confident we did everything we could.
After a curtailed 2019/20 season and a shortened pre-season campaign, many predicted injuries would play a key role in how teams would be able to cope.
Crampton added: "We were very conscious after seeing soft tissue injuries overseas when football came back. It's a credit to Tom Bromley, Adam Ross and Matt Willmott - we had regular calls early on to discuss the heavy loads the players would be going through, and that was really important.
"It was tough to also motivate people to go and exercise on your own when you're used to doing it with other people."
Player motivation and discipline while they were training by themselves was one thing to have to battle, but there were also the psychological elements of lockdown which have impacted on everyone, including the footballers. Scott Fraser spoke openly last season about his struggles with not being able to see his family, and Crampton said it's an issue everyone should be more vigilant of.
"We're not qualified psychologists, but we've got care and instinct at this club to be there for one another," he said. "It's important to discuss our problems openly, and we address it supportively. Inevitably, when you're stuck overseas or hundreds of miles from home it's difficult. Everyone will be happy to get back to normal."