West Ham to send top doctor to Jamaica with Michail Antonio to check on star striker’s hamstrings
WEST HAM are taking no chances with Michail Antonio’s hamstrings by sending their top doctor with him for Jamaica duty.
Antonio, 31, made his debut for the county in September after switching his football allegiance from England.
He played 70 minutes of a 3-0 defeat to Panama in Kingston and watching over him was the luckiest physio in football.
West Ham’s head of medical services Richard Collinge was despatched to the Caribbean Island on an all-expenses paid trip with the sole purpose of making sure Antonio’s precious legs survived the extra workload.
Antonio has a history of hamstring problems and Irons boss David Moyes is taking no chances with his main centre forward.
A club source said: “Richard was there, on hand, to make sure everything went well and to be on hand in case there were any issues.”
It is a sign of just how important Antonio is to West Ham’s season that his club were prepared to go to extraordinary lengths of flying a personal medic halfway round the world to keep an eye on his legs.
Antonio has stayed fit so far this season and scored six goals for West Ham – missing only one match through suspension.
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He has been called up to several England squads but after failing to make a consistent breakthrough, opted to play for Jamaica after the country’s FA approached him in February this year.
He skipped the most recent international matches in the US, Canada and Honduras due to Covid restrictions but Jamaica face the Americans at home on November 16.
Antonio has stated himself that he is making a more concerted effort to take more care of his hamstrings and general health.
That includes being more precise about his dietary habits and taking more vitamin supplements to help stay fit.
West Ham face Genk on Thursday as they look to maintain a 100 per cent start to their Europa League campaign.
And midfielder Tomas Soucek has declared himself fit to play despite getting an accidental boot in the face from Everton striker Salomon Rondon which required stitches to the Czech midfielder’s lip and eye.
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Alicia Adendorff is a reporter for Healthy Organic Lifestyle.