Soleus vs. Gastrocnemius
The Australian researchers suspect that it depends on the type of sports which calf muscle group is injured most. In this study, it turned out that in over four out of five calf injuries the soleus was damaged, while in other sports - such as American Football – gastrocnemius is injured more frequently. Besides this, soleus was injured more frequently when running on a constant tempo, while gastrocnemius often failed when sprinting.
Number of injuries
During four seasons, 149 players suffered a total of 184 calf injuries: in over eighty percent of the cases it was the first calf injury, in the other cases it was a reinjury. Almost half of the first calf injuries and a third of the recurrences had a gradual onset or no clear moment of origin. According to the authors, this contradicts with what normally happens in lower limb injuries, as most muscle injuries are often of an acute nature.
The recovery time of the first calf injury was significantly shorter than that of a reinjury: while players fully returned to sports three weeks after their first calf injury, it took almost six weeks for players who sustained a reinjury. On average, players were capable of sprinting at 90 percent of their maximum speed after 17 days after a first injury, while the average was almost 34 days in players who had reinjuries.