Chris Waugh with the Athletic has published an article on Newcastle’s three-man defensive system. In it, he highlights the importance of Florian Lejeune to the team.
Injury Analyst Ben Dinnery tweeted a response to the article detailing his concern if Florian is allowed to return too soon.
Concern for Lejeune would be that athletes returning to their previous levels of sport within nine months are around five times more likely to re-injure the knee or suffer an injury to the other knee. Incidence decreases by 51 per cent thereafter month on month.
— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) October 9, 2019
We would expect that every precaution will be taken to make sure Lejeune is as ready as possible for his return. However, as Dinnery points out there is an increase in the chance of re-injury for players returning within nine months.
Florian returned to training last week and has been touted for a possible return to the pitch later this month. His most recent injury occurred on April 6th against Crystal Palace. If Florian does return in October, it would be slightly over six months since his injury.
When Lejeune suffered his first injury in the summer of 2018, he made his return at Chelsea on January 12th. Interestingly that corresponding fixture is Newcastle’s next match on October 19th.
However when Florian returned in January, Rafa had him training for close to a month before putting him back in the team. It was still, however, only around 6 months after the initial injury. Less than three months later, Florian injured his other knee.
Newcastle really don’t have to rush Florian back as they have plenty of cover in central defense. Paul Dummett has played well this year and Ciaran Clark slotted in seamlessly against Manchester United last Sunday.
If Newcastle did keep Lejeune out until the nine month mark, that would keep him out until the new year. That is highly unlikely to happen. Though we would like to see his involvement slowly ramped up over the next few months. There is just no reason to push Florian at this point especially considering his recent injury history.