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Goalkeepers in football are of course not as physically active as the field players.

I was wondering whether this means that goalkeepers are allowed to return from an injury earlier than field players?

For example, imagine if Ronaldo and Buffon get the exact same ACL tear at the same time and go through the same sort of recovery phase... will Buffon be allowed back onto the pitch earlier than Ronaldo?

Or are all players more or less forced to wait until they are healed properly, regardless of whether they are field players or goakeepers?

  • If the actual injury is "equal" - location, magnitude of damage, etc, then recovery would be equal - the knee ligaments don't care if it's a goalie or striker. However, if you're talking about whether an ACL injury to a field player is more likely to be severe due to what's going on when it happens and the movement of the player at the time, then we're not actually talking about "equal," just the same body part. – PoloHoleSet Aug 31 '18 at 15:58
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In your case it will probably be equal. Don't underestimate how much a goalie's knee is being strained.

The recovery time is the biggest key for an injury like that. If it's equal, then they will both return to the pitch at the same time. Like you already figured, an injury like that must be fully healed (or it will break again).

If it's a simple muscle injury a goalie might be able to return to the pitch earlier. Tape it and you're good to go in some cases. But that's something individual and has to be checked in every single case.

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