Prof. Jan Ekstrand

Prof. Jan Ekstrand

CMO–Chief Medical Officer

Professor Jan Ekstrand is a medical doctor and a specialist in Orthopaedic Surgery. He is a Professor of Sports Medicine at the University of Linköping, Sweden since 2001. His graduation thesis related to football injuries and their prevention and was completed in 1982.

He has also been responsible as team physician of the Swedish National Football Team for 120 matches and has been a member the Medical Committee of UEFA between 1992 and 2015.

Professor Ekstrand has been a member of the Scientific Advisory Board at Aspetar for 8 years.

He is the founder and leader of Football Research Group (FRG), an international research group carrying out research on Football Medicine and prevention of injuries.

Since 2001, he and his research group have worked on behalf of UEFA and carried out injury audits in Elite Professional Football with the objective of increasing safety in football through prospective research of more than a hundred professional football clubs from 20 different European countries.


Scientific merits

  • Publications in peer reviewed scientific journals during the last 8 years : 51 (6-7 articles/ year)
  • Impact factor/publication: 4.2
  • H-index 43
  • (Research Gate) index: 40.16

Publications 2011-2018

  • Ekstrand J, Hägglund M, Fuller CW. Comparison of injuries sustained on artificial turf and grass by male and female elite football players. Scand J Med Sci Sports 2011;21:824-32.
  • Ekstrand J, Hägglund M, Waldén M. Epidemiology of muscle injuries in professional football (soccer). Am J Sports Med 2011;39:1226-32.
  • Ekstrand J, Hägglund M, Waldén M. Injury incidence and injury patterns in professional football: The UEFA injury study. Br J Sports Med 2011;45:553-8.
  • Hägglund M, Zwerver J, Ekstrand J. Epidemiology of patellar tendinopathy in elite male soccer players. Am J Sports Med 2011;39:1906-11.
  • Ekstrand J, Healy JC, Walden M, et al. Hamstring muscle injuries in professional football: The correlation of MRI findings with return to play. Br J Sports Med 2012;46:112-7.
  • Ekstrand J,Torstveit MK. Stress fractures in elite male football players. Scand J Med Sci Sports 2012;22:341-6.
  • Müller-Wohlfahrt H, Hänsel L, Mithoefer K, Ekstrand J, et al. Terminology and classification of muscle injuries in sport: The Munich consensus statement. Br J Sports Med 2012;47:342-50.
  • Smeets K, Jacobs P, Hertogs R, Ekstrand J, et al. Torsional injuries of the lower limb: An analysis of the frictional torque between different types of football turf and the shoe outsole. Br J Sports Med 2012;46:1078-83.
  • Bengtsson H, Ekstrand J, Hägglund M. Muscle injury rates in professional football increase with fixture congestion: An 11-year follow-up of the UEFA Champions League injury study. Br J Sports Med 2013;47:743-7.
  • Bengtsson H, Ekstrand J, Waldén M, et al. Match injury rates in professional soccer vary with match result, match venue, and type of competition. Am J Sports Med 2013;41:1505-10.
  • Ekstrand J. Playing too many matches is negative for both performance and player availability-results from the on-going UEFA injury study. Deutsche Zeitschrift fur Sportmedicin 2013;64:163-167.
  • Gajhede Knudsen M, Ekstrand J, Magnusson H, et al. Recurrence of achilles tendon injuries in elite male football players is more common after  early return to play: An 11-year follow-up of the UEFA Champions League injury study. Br J Sports Med 2013;47:763-768.
  • Hägglund M, Waldén M, Ekstrand J. Risk factors for lower extremity muscle injury in professional soccer: The UEFA injury study. Am J Sports Med 2013;41:327-35.
  • Kerkhoffs GM, van Es N, Wieldraaijer T, Ekstrand J, et al. Diagnosis and prognosis of acute hamstring injuries in athletes. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc 2013;21:500-9.
  • Kristenson K, Björneboe J, Waldén M, et al. The nordic football injury audit: Higher injury rates for professional football clubs with third-generation artificial turf at their home venue. Br J Sports Med 2013;47:775-81.
  • Kristenson K, Waldén M, Ekstrand J, et al. Lower injury rates for newcomers to professional soccer: A prospective cohort study over 9 consecutive seasons. Am J Sports Med 2013;41:1419-25.
  • Lundblad M, Waldén M, Magnusson H, et al. The UEFA injury study: 11-year data concerning 346 MCL injuries and time to return to play. Br J Sports Med 2013;47:759-62.
  • Nilsson M, Hägglund M, Ekstrand J, et al. Head and neck injuries in professional soccer. Clin J Sport Med 2013;23:255-60.
  • Waldén M, Hägglund M, Ekstrand J. Time-trends and circumstances surrounding ankle injuries in men's professional football: An 11-year follow-up of the UEFA Champions League injury study. Br J Sports Med 2013;47:748-53.
  • Waldén M, Hägglund M, Orchard J, et al. Regional differences in injury incidence in European professional football. Scand J Med Sci Sports 2013;23:424-30.
  • Ekstrand J. Keeping your top players on the pitch: The key to football medicine at a professional level. Br J Sports Med 2013;47:723-724.
  • Ekstrand J, Askling C, Magnusson H, et al. Return to play after thigh muscle injury in elite football players: Implementation and validation of the Munich muscle injury classification. Br J Sports Med 2013;47:769-74.
  • Ekstrand J, Dvorak J, D'Hooghe M. Sport medicine research needs funding: The international football federations are leading the way. Br J Sports Med 2013;47:726-8.
  • Ekstrand J, Hägglund M, Kristenson K, et al. Fewer ligament injuries but no preventive effect on muscle injuries and severe injuries: An 11-year follow-up of the UEFA Champions League injury study. Br J Sports Med 2013;47:732-7.
  • Ekstrand J, Hägglund M, Törnqvist H, et al. Upper extremity injuries in male elite football players. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc 2013;21:1626-32.
  • Ekstrand J,van Dijk CN. Fifth metatarsal fractures among male professional footballers: A potential career-ending disease. Br J Sports Med 2013;47:754-8
  • Hägglund M, Waldén M, Magnusson H, et al. Injuries affect team performance negatively in professional football: An 11-year follow-up of the UEFA Champions League injury study. Br J Sports Med 2013;47:738-42.
  • Hallén A, Ekstrand J. Return to play following muscle injuries in professional footballers. J Sports Sci. 2014;32(13):1229-36.
  • Nordström A, Nordström P, Ekstrand J. Sports-related concussion increases the risk of subsequent injury by about 50% in elite male football players. Br J Sports Med. 2014, (48), 19, 1447-1450
  • Weir A, Brukner P, Delahunt E, Ekstrand J, Griffin D, Khan KM, Lovell G, Meyers WC, Muschaweck U, Orchard J, Paajanen H, Philippon M, Reboul G, Robinson P, Schache AG, Schilders E, Serner A, Silvers H, Thorborg K, Tyler T, Verrall G, de Vos RJ, Vuckovic Z, Hölmich P. Doha agreement meeting on terminology and definitions in groin pain in athletes. Br J Sports Med 2015 49: 768-774.
  • Bahr R, Thorborg K, Ekstrand J.  Evidence-based hamstring injury prevention is not adopted by the majority of Champions League or Norwegian Premier League football teams: the Nordic Hamstring survey Br J Sports Med 2015 Nov;49(22):1466-71
  • Ueblacker P, Muller-Wohlfahrt HW, Ekstrand J. Epidemiological and clinical outcome comparison of indirect ('strain') versus direct ('contusion') anterior and posterior thigh muscle injuries in male elite football players: UEFA elite league study of 2287 thigh injuries (2001-2013). Br J Sports Med 2015;49:1461-5.
  • Waldén M, Hägglund M, Ekstrand J. The epidemiology of groin injury in senior football: A systematic review of prospective studies. Br J Sports Med 2015;49:792-7.
  • Ekstrand J, Walden M, Hägglund M. Hamstring injuries have increased by 4% annually in men's professional football, since 2001: A 13-year longitudinal analysis of the uefa elite club injury study. Br J Sports Med 2016;50:731-7.
  • McCall A, Dupont G, Ekstrand J. Injury prevention strategies, coach compliance and player adherence of 33 of the uefa elite club injury study teams: A survey of teams' head medical officers. Br J Sports Med 2016;50:725-30.
  • Kristenson K, Björneboe J, Walden M, et al. No association between surface shifts and time-loss overuse injury risk in male professional football. J Sci Med Sport 2016; 19; 218-221
  • Kristenson K, Björneboe J, Waldén M, et al. Injuries in male professional football: A prospective comparison between individual and team-based exposure registration. Scand J Med Sci Sports 2016;26:1225-32.
  • Gouttebarge V, Aoki H, Ekstrand J, et al. Are severe musculoskeletal injuries associated with symptoms of common mental disorders among male European professional footballers? Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc 2016;24:3934-3942.
  • Larsson D, Ekstrand J, Karlsson MK. Fracture epidemiology in male elite football players from 2001 to 2013: 'How long will this fracture keep me out?'. Br J Sports Med 2016;50:759-63.
  • Ekstrand J, Lee JC, Healy JC. MRI findings and return to play in football: A prospective analysis of 255 hamstring injuries in the UEFA Elite Club Injury Study. Br J Sports Med 2016;50:738-43.
  • Hägglund M, Waldén M, Ekstrand J. Injury recurrence is lower at the highest professional football level than at national and amateur levels: Does sports medicine and sports physiotherapy deliver? Br J Sports Med 2016;50:751-8.
  • Waldén M, Hägglund M, Magnusson H, et al. ACL injuries in men's professional football: A 15-year prospective study on time trends and return-to-play rates reveals only 65% of players still play at the top level 3 years after ACL rupture. Br J Sports Med 2016;50:744-50.
  • Ekstrand J. Preventing injuries in professional football: Thinking bigger and working together. Br J Sports Med 2016;50:709-10.
  • Lundblad M, Waldén M, Hägglund M, et al. No association between return to play after injury and increased rate of anterior cruciate ligament injury in men's professional soccer. Orthop J Sports Med 2016;4:2325967116669708.
  • Björneboe J, Kristenson K, Waldén M, et al. Role of illness in male professional football: Not a major contributor to time loss. Br J Sports Med 2016;50:699-702.
  • Gabbett TJ, Kennelly S, Sheehan J, et al. If overuse injury is a 'training load error', 
  • should undertraining be viewed the same way? Br J Sports Med 2016;50:1017-8.
  • Windt J, Ekstrand J, Khan KM, et al. Does player unavailability affect football teams' match physical outputs? A two-season study of the uefa champions league. J Sci Med Sport 2017.
  • Bengtsson H, Ekstrand J, Walden M, et al. Muscle injury rate in professional football is higher in matches played within 5 days since the previous match: A 14-year prospective study with more than 130 000 match observations. Br J Sports Med 2017.
  • Lubberts B, D'Hooghe P, Bengtsson H, et al. Epidemiology and return to play following isolated syndesmotic injuries of the ankle: A prospective cohort study of 3677 male professional footballers in the uefa elite club injury study. Br J Sports Med 2017.
  • Bahr R, Clarsen B, Ekstrand J. Why we should focus on the burden of injuries and illnesses, not just their incidence. Br J Sports Med 2017.
  • Ekstrand J, Lundqvist D, Lagerback L, et al. Is there a correlation between coaches' leadership styles and injuries in elite football teams? A study of 36 elite teams in 17 countries. Br J Sports Med 2018;52:527-531.


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