By Alex Miller
3 November 2010
The man in charge of Fernando Torres’ fitness has warned the rest of the Premier League that the Spanish striker is ‘close’ to firing on all cylinders again but the player really should have had a rest of at least three months after his knee surgery in April.
Liverpool’s Head of Sports Medicine and Sports Science, Peter Brukner, has admitted that Torres is still “not 100 per cent fit” and that in pre-season he had designed a tailored programme to enable the marksman to build up carefully and as fast as possible.
That work has paid off and Brukner has told sportingintelligence that Torres is now close to being in top shape, if not quite there yet. “Fernando is now very close to being 100 per cent fit,” he said.
On the one hand this is good news for Liverpool – an explanation why their talismanic marksman hasn’t been firing to his own high standards. On the other, it raises questions about whether a longer rest earlier in the year would have allowed him to start the 2010-11 season much brighter.
Brukner confirmed that it had been “a challenge” to get the player up to full fitness after the World Cup. He said the forward should ideally have had “three or four months off” after sustaining the knee injury.
If that had happened, it would have kept him out of the World Cup, which Spain won but with Torres clearly out of sorts for much of the tournament.
Brukner also says that confidence would be a factor for the lethal marksman who has netted just twice so far this season for Liverpool. “I’m sure a couple of goals will see him really confident and flying again.”
Brukner’s comments confirm the feelings of many commentators that the striker was struggling for fitness throughout Spain’s glorious summer.
Brukner, who hails from Australia, is regarded as one of the world’s leading physicians. He moved to Anfield in the summer after stints with the Australian World Cup team and the Aussie Olympic and Commonwealth teams.
Alex Miller spoke to Peter Brukner for a feature on the prevention and treatment of injury in English football to be published in the forthcoming issue of FC Business magazine.