Purpose: The extra-time (ET) period of soccer is competed during fixture congested schedules with often limited recovery time between matches. The aim of this study was to assess muscle damage recovery following 90- and 120-min (i.e., incorporation of ET) of simulated soccer match-play. Methods: Twelve semi-professional soccer players completed 90 and 120-min treadmill-based soccer-specific exercise in a counterbalanced order. Creatine kinase (CK), creatinine, urea, aspartate aminotransferase, perceived muscle soreness, pain pressure threshold, reactive strength index, countermovement jump height, and isokinetic strength assessments of eccentric knee flexors at 60, 180 and 270 deg‧s-1 were taken at baseline and immediately-, 24, 48 and 72-hr post-exercise to assess recovery. Results: No significant between-trial interactions except for CK were found. Pairwise comparisons detected a 53% increase in CK at 24-hr (455 ± 29 μ∙L−1) following 120-min of simulated match-play vs. the corresponding post 90-min time-point (299 ± 29 μ∙L−1; p<0.01). The 120-min trial caused a 58% higher CK response at 72-hr (244 ± 25 μ∙L−1) vs. post 90-min comparisons (154 ± 29 μ∙L−1; p = 0.02). No interaction effects were detected for any other recovery variables. Creatine kinase and perceived muscle soreness remained elevated up to 72-hr in both trials (p<0.01). Conclusions: These data indicate that 120 min of simulated soccer match-play delays the time-course of CK recovery up to 72-hr post-match. However, 120 min of simulated soccer has no additional impact on functional recovery and perceived muscle soreness vs. 90 min. Recovery should be investigated following 90- and 120-min of actual match-play.
- Soccer Simulation
- Muscle Damage