Please Wait . . .
Every week, it seems as if a new footballer has been seen limping off the pitch, or there is news about another player having been withdrawn from the squad due to an injury picked up in training.
So what's been happening with footballers? Goal takes a look.
The natural answer is that due to the strange nature of this year's fixture schedule due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, players have been more overworked than normal, causing their bodies to cramp and strain.
The congested fixture schedule - with its aim to make up for the three months' worth of lost time in spring - has meant that the players have played more games over a short period of time.
What's more is that there was no proper pre-season break for the players in the summer, which meant no chance for them to rest ahead of the new season.
As a result, players have had to push their bodies to the extreme to cope with the demanding fixture schedule. Most top-level footballers play multiple tournaments at a time now in quicker succession - domestic league, Champions League/Europa League as well as their domestic cup games - which were seen as plentiful even during a normal, non-Covid-19 year.
The November international break must have felt like a horror movie to club managers who received update after update that more and more of their players had been injured.
Liverpool in particular were hit pretty hard, with Joe Gomez picking up an injury in training with England and out of action for several months,and Jordan Henderson was taken off the pitch at half-time playing for the Three Lions. There was a brief scare regarding Andy Robertson, who picked up a tight hamstring during the Euro 2021 play-offs with Scotland, but he was cleared to play shortly after.
Trent Alexander-Arnold was sidelined for a few weeks after he picked up a calf injury against Manchester City, while Fabinho and Thiago had already been on the treatment plan for quite some time.
Former Liverpool player Dejan Lovren explained on Twitter that we are seeing more injuries due to the influx of games and a lack of proper recovery time, as well as the fact that there were no pre-season preparations.
That, as well as the added mental fatigue of coping with Covid-19 has also taken its toll. Obviously, with the virus still rampant, the coronavirus poses an additional threat to players' health.
Several high-profile European-based players havetested positive for coronavirus, another elementto add clubs' injury concerns.
Football figures have criticised the fact that international matches were still being played amid the pandemic, owing not just to the already demanding fixture schedule, but the fact that international competition would only act as a chance to further spread the virus across the world.
Toni Kroos hascriticised FIFA and UEFA's rigorous schedule, beratingtheir plans to add even more fixtures to the table as he referenced the forming of the newEuropeanSuper League.
"With the invention of all these new things we seem to be just the puppets of FIFA and UEFA," he saidon hisEinfach mal Luppenpodcast.