LONDON, June 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
When it comes to the World Cup, two of the most feared words for England fans in the run-up are 'penalties' and 'metatarsal'.
The 20-year-old Wayne Rooney looked likely to miss England's opener in the 2006 World Cup, because of a fracture in the metatarsal bone of his right foot. The word has been frequently cited ever since, making ordinary armchair pundits and TV newsreaders feel like qualified medical surgeons.
Eight years on, and the back pages of our newspapers have been filled with a similar World Cup concern for another Manchester United player, Danny Welbeck.
The England star is a formidable component for the team, having scored eight goals in 20 games under the reign of manager Roy Hodgson. So it's a shame there's a question mark over his inclusion in the opening game against Italy.
What we know is this injury cropped up in a training session. We can't exactly scrap these essential opportunities to get the team in shape for another chance to hold the Jules Rimet trophy.
However, hope comes in digital form, with the ability for physios to foresee stress-related injuries in training sessions.
IBM's predictive modelling platform is playing a significant role in Rugby Union, discovering risks for NSW Warratahs. Knowing where injuries are likely to occur is a key advantage for any sports team. The solution creates a highly personal training programme for each player, having analysed performance data.
The predictive technology is available to clubs as well as countries. It's seen as a vital way to preserve a team's potential during any league or cup tournament event.
The manager and trainers can take action if the analysis predicts a likely injury for a particular player. We all know from past experiences how England can suffer when a key player is absent.
Imagine if we could even predict penalties? Okay, that's science fiction for now, no technology has reached that level. But if England had access to player insights from this predictive analytics platform, I think we'd have more chance of reaching the final.
Look into how IBM's digital expertise can assist your club (http://bitly.com/1kXputu)