(Reuters) – Newcastle United club doctor Paul Catterson says he expects players to suffer more injuries than usual when the Premier League resumes this month following the COVID-19 disruption.

The league was suspended on March 13 due to the pandemic and teams resumed training in small groups before voting last week to return to contact training ahead of a June 17 restart.

“We are expecting more injuries at this time,” Catterson told the BBC. “The players have been running on treadmills and working indoors for eight weeks so that transition is a different stimulus for the body.

“There was an NFL lockout a few years ago and there was an increase in Achilles injuries so we are looking at that.

“We have had players asking if they can have ice baths after training and they can’t at the moment — all we can do is give them ice to take home. It’s like going back 15 years.”

The league’s planned restart received a boost last week when the latest batch of novel coronavirus tests produced no positive results. In the three previous rounds of testing since players resumed training there were 12 positives.

“… I’m confident now that a Premier League training ground is one of the safest environments around,” Catterson added.

“There’s a big onus on the players, they have to conduct themselves professionally outside of this environment. We’re only as strong as our weakest link.

“If anyone doesn’t follow the guidance they put the group at risk.”

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

All copyrights for this article are reserved to The Star