Chelsea’s medical and physiotherapy department has been a bit of a (giant) mess this season, in a way emblematic of the season as a whole, with drastic changes made often too hastily or haphazardly, and with greater knock-on effects than those making the changes might have naively imagined.
While the department, after years of steadily declining injury records, was probably in need of a reevaluation and possibly a refresh (as were many of the club’s departments from the previous regime), the summary changes and sackings by the new ownership were far too extreme — especially as we didn’t have any proper replacements for them, having to hire external companies and consultants.
And wouldn’t you know it, one of those consultants has been someone who had been part of changes at the start of the season to begin with! José Calvarro, a popular physio with the players over the past six years, has been back with the team since January as it turns out. The story today from Nizaar Kinsella in the Evening Standard paints that as a dramatic decision forced by the players themselves, though a recent interview with Calvarro in Diario AS adds a bit more context and makes things sound less unilateral.
Mil millones en manos españolas https://t.co/EXS5xgGF34 vía @diarioas— CarlosAlbertoCabrera (@CarlosAlbertoCP) April 12, 2023
When he left in September — either as part of the Dr Paco Biosca departure or not — Calvarro joined up with Cesc Fabregas (and Dennis Wise) at Como in Italy’s Serie B. He had also hoped to start his own physiotherapy clinic in Lugano, Switzerland, though that doesn’t appear to have happened just yet. Calvarro does remain employed full-time with Como, and is consulting only on the weekends. In the AS interview, he specifically mentions working with Enzo Fernández and Joao Félix, two of Chelsea’s new January arrivals; though apparently César Azpilicueta was the best man at his wedding, so the ties do run quite deep.
Either way, just another thing to sort out properly before the start of next (pre-)season!
Chelsea perform u-turn on first team physiotherapist at the request of their players.— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) April 28, 2023
There are wider concerns that too many medical department changes have contributed to a lack of fitness and injuries in a terrible season: https://t.co/AGUiEMT9BM #CFC