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Increasing McFadden's workload—during training camp—is another way the Raiders might keep McFadden healthy in 2012.
A big part of injury prevention during the season is offseason training. It's not that McFadden is out of shape, but added flexibility and strength of certain small muscle groups can help him avoid serious injury.
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons website has this information about avoiding sprains, strains and other soft-tissue injuries:
"Stress injuries can also result from poor muscle balance, lack of flexibility, or weakness in soft tissues caused by previous injuries. These injuries to the muscle, bone ligaments, and tendons may require a prolonged amount of time to heal, in spite of appropriate care."
McFadden is gaining a reputation as a slow healer and while some of that is probably genetic, some could be from inadequate training.
It will be up to new strength and conditioning coach, Al Miller, to design the perfect training program for McFadden.
Miller is a member of the USA Strength and Conditioning Coaches Hall of Fame and was NFL strength coach of the year in 2004. If any coach can design the right training program for McFadden, it's Miller.
"My goal in strength training and coaching was to win the championship each and every year, and to try and put together to proper strength, speed, flexibility, and conditioning program to raise each player's ability and guard against serious injury." - Al Miller, as quoted in a video accompanying his induction into the USA Strength and Conditioning Coaches Hall of Fame.
For a good example of what flexibility can do to prevent injury, rewind to October 24, 2011. Michael Bush barreled into Brian Dawkins knee and it buckled backwards, but Dawkins would come back into the game. Most players would be facing a season-ending injury, but Dawkins hardly missed a beat.
It's a good example of why Dawkins was still playing at a high level at age 38. If McFadden wants a long NFL career, he needs to really focus on his offseason training.