EPL: Torres, Van Persie, Among 11 Most Injury-Prone Stars

Andrew McNairSenior Writer IMarch 13, 2010

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 28:  Fernando Torres of Liverpool in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers at Anfield on February 28, 2010 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Some Premier League stars are just ever-present; they never seem to miss a game and when they do take a knock, it is just that—a knock.

For some others, you would almost bet your mortgage on them getting seriously injured soon after a long layoff, even during their first matches back.

You will be able to think of a few of these players offhand, but who are the Premier Leagues biggest culprits—or should I say—unluckiest professionals?

Jonathan Woodgate, Tottenham Hotspur

The England international is one of the best defenders of his generation, but nine caps in 11 years says it all for a man who has played for Real Madrid.

The 30-year-old is currently at Tottenham Hotspur, but he has only played with the first team three times this season and is currently as you would guess, out injured.

The former Leeds and Newcastle United man has only turned in three full seasons (30 games or over) over the course of his entire career.

Kieron Dyer, West Ham United

Once one of the best prospects in English football, the 31-year-old West Ham midfielder never quite lived up to his potential. You could possibly blame a stale Newcastle United side for that, but he simply was often not match fit.

Surprisingly though, he has 33 England caps to his name, but since joining his current London side in 2007, he has only made 20 appearances.

A good career, but probably should have been better.

Ledley King, Tottenham Hotspur

Even now, Ledley King is up there with the best defenders in the Premier League. Yes, a man who hardly trains and has to pick his games due to the fragility of his knees, would still be in many pundits' England starting 11.

The 29-year-old is still a top performer—miraculous considering how difficult he must find trying to stay in shape.

Somehow though, he manages it, and gives his boss Harry Redknapp sweet dreams, rather than what you’d expect from this article: injury nightmares.

Owen Hargreaves, Manchester United

The 29-year-old Canadian-born Hargreaves has played more times for England than he has for Manchester United and that just about sums it up.

The 42-time capped midfielder has only played three times since his 2007-08 debut season at the Premier League champions.

He is on course for a comeback apparently, but it will be of interest to see if his knees can stand the pace of world class football once again.

Michael Owen, Manchester United

The Owen injury jinx is a bit of a myth. Yes, he has terribly bad hamstrings, but barring two years of injury hell at Newcastle United, the 30-year-old has played over 30 matches in every season of his long career.

He has made 450 senior appearances, and has 89 England caps (he’d be miles ahead of David Beckham had it not been for those injuries at Newcastle), so it’s hardly been a career marred by injury as some would tell you.

He is now though, a little fragile for a man of his age, but it's only March and the striker has already been featured in 31 fixtures—good enough for most.

Robin Van Persie, Arsenal

The Gunners have struggled in the league of recent seasons, and I wonder if has anything to do with the fact Van Persie has never played more than 28 league games in a season, and even that was a once off.

The 26-year-old has only started in 11 league games this campaign, and two seasons ago, the Dutch international only played in 15 Premier League matches.

Arsenal will be hoping for a swift return to action as they go headlong into their title battle with Manchester United and Chelsea.

Gareth Bale, Tottenham Hotspur

The Welsh fullback is only 20, but has already demonstrated an ability to get injured on queue.

In his three seasons at White Hart Lane, the left-sided defender has played fewer games (37) than he did in one season as a 17-year-old at Southampton (38).

And after another injury scare in March while on international duty, the future just does not look rosy for this talented youngster.

Fernando Torres, Liverpool

The talented Spanish striker may have bagged 51 goals in 75 league games for the Merseyside club, but he only managed 20 top-flight starts last season, and only 16 during this campaign.

Liverpool could arguably have won the Premier League last season with an ever-present Torres, but the man who only missed seven games in his last four seasons at Atletico Madrid clearly does not like the cold winters in Britain.

But look on the bright side—when he plays, he usually scores.

Jimmy Bullard, Hull City

The Englishman has only managed seven games for Hull, and he did not play many more at Fulham either.

He has made 41 starts in five seasons between the two clubs, and you do not need to be good at math to work out that the 31-year-old has hardly played due to one injury after another.

That said, he is a special player and personality who is well worth having on your squad—whether playing or not.

Garry O’Connor, Birmingham City

Scotland international O’Connor is not one of the most well-known players in the Premier League, and I’ll give you just one guess why.

The 26-year-old simply cannot get a run of games without picking up another niggling injury.

And his 20 starts in three years highlight that issue for a player who once scored the winner in the Russian Cup Final for Lokomotiv Moscow.

David Dunn, Blackburn Rovers

Most players with David Dunn’s appearance record would have been sitting behind a desk selling insurance, but on his day, the 30-year-old Englishman is one of the most gifted footballers in Europe.

And despite having only managed double figures for league appearances twice in the last seven campaigns, he remains very much a big player for Sam Allardyce’s men.

He was playing so well earlier this season, the pundits were once again talking about England, but it is unlikely he will ever add to his solitary international cap.

However, David Dunn has the comfort of knowing it certainly was not because he was not good enough.

So there you have it: The Premier League’s biggest injury list.

Is there anyone who has failed to make the team sheet—as usual?

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