Arsenal youngster Emile Smith Rowe’s persistent groin problem has worsened in the last couple of months, injury expert Ben Dinnery has claimed.
The 22-year-old is a hugely impressive young talent but his career has been dogged by fitness issues, a worrying trend at such a young age.
Smith Rowe is once again sidelined by a groin issue after he hobbled off after the warm-down away to Manchester United earlier this month, as he struggles to rid himself of the injury.
A concerning update has emerged regarding the midfielder, amplifying Arsenal’s woes on that front following Martin Odegaard’s training ground injury.
Speaking to Football Insider, Dinnery claimed that Smith Rowe’s injury has worsened and that it is a complex issue to tackle.
The expert – who runs the Premier Injuries website and has a background in injury and data analysis – said:
“This is difficult. Calvin Ramsay has had similar issues, but he is a bit younger. Smith Rowe is 22, so this is a bit more rare as you aren’t going to see a significant growth spurt with him.
“They are pointing to issues he had during his time with RB Leipzig back in 2018-19. This is a very complex area of the body. It’s sometimes called spaghetti junction because of how much is going on in there.
“They have been aware of this for the last three or four years. In the last nine to 10 months, things have gotten worse. Conservative treatment and rest are typically the best courses of action.
“In terms of peak muscle mass, you can still be developing into your mid to late-20s. If there has been a weakening because of those issues, that’s where the problems may stem from.
“It’s difficult to give a specific diagnosis or timeframe because, with overuse issues, there are problems. You have to ease back until the problems subside and gradually increase your load and see how the body responds to those triggers.
“If it is favourable, you will continue to develop. But when you have that pain response, you have to go back to previous activity levels. It could be something that Smith Rowe has to deal with for quite a bit longer yet.”
There is no doubt that Smith Rowe’s injury-prone nature is a concern, with the midfielder limited to 86 Arsenal appearances so far, compared to 139 for the younger Bukayo Saka.
The longer that the 22-year-old’s problems persist, the more of a worry it will become his long-term progress, with injuries having the power to hamper footballers in a recurring manner (take Daniel Sturridge, for example).
The hope is that this is still a young player dealing with growing issues, but at 22, the likelihood of that being the case is starting to feel less likely.
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