‘Sexism is the risk factor’: football’s race to learn more about ACL injuries

Doctors and coaches alike cannot fully explain the worrying trend among female players but many believe that a lack of resources, rather than biology, is a key factor

After 30 years of research, it’s still a mystery why women footballers are five to eight times more likely to suffer a career-threatening anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury than their male counterparts.

For physicians such as Joan Carles Monllau, one of Europe’s top orthopaedic surgeons who has operated on double Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas’s ACL injury, as well as Barcelona men’s star Gavi and many other top players, biology remains the determining factor in why women are more prone to ACL injuries.

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