Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
HIGHLANDERS get their 2020 season underway this morning with players undergoing electrocardiogram (ECG) and beep tests that will help the physical trainers determine the amount of load each player will require to effectively compete.
Bosso’s medical team led by medical doctor Shepherd Khumalo and physiotherapist Loyal Nyika will conduct the tests.
An ECG is a medical test that detects cardiac (heart) abnormalities by measuring the electrical activity generated by the heart as it contracts. The machine that records the patient’s ECG is called an electrocardiograph. The electrocardiograph records the electrical activity of the heart muscle and displays this data as a trace on a screen or on paper.
“ECGs from healthy hearts have a characteristic shape. Any irregularity in the heart rhythm or damage to the heart muscle can change the electrical activity of the heart so that the shape of the ECG is changed. A doctor may recommend an ECG for people who may be at risk of heart disease because there is a family history of heart disease, or because they smoke, are overweight, or have diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure,” reads an extract from a medical website.
Since players were enjoying an off-season break, the effects of the Christmas festivities could have resulted in some putting on extra kilos, while others could now be out of shape.
The beep test, according to sharecare.com, is used by sports coaches and trainers to estimate an athlete’s maximum oxygen uptake, better known as VO2 Max. The test is especially useful for players in sports such as football, hockey or rugby.
Khumalo said the club does these tests every pre-season to have medically and physically fit players.
“We don’t want to have players who will collapse during a match and maybe even have fatalities. This is why we do these tests as Highlanders. If a player fails or is discovered to be having a serious heart problem, he is referred to a specialist and advised not to do any sporting activity, but most of the conditions that we come across can be monitored and not really a cause for serious concern,” said Khumalo.
The medicals are set to end tomorrow with the team starting rigorous physical exercises next week.
Highlanders spokesperson Ronald Moyo said they were expecting all contracted players to undergo the tests.
All but two of the players, Denzel Khumalo and McClive Phiri are still on the Highlanders’ payroll.
“We haven’t heard anything from Phiri, but the club had made formal communication with him that his services are still required, while for Khumalo, I don’t think we will be having him,” said Moyo.
Despite reports linking skipper Ariel Sibanda with a move to a top Mozambican side, the club said they had not heard anything from his handlers and were planning the season with the reigning Goalkeeper of the Year in mind.
Sibanda’s contract expires on December 31 this year.