Mo Salah Injury Comes Day After Mbappé’s Load Management Warning

One of the world’s biggest clubs went down with injury in the Africa Cup of Nations. On Thursday, Mohamed Salah limped off in Egypt’s draw against Ghana. Kylian Mbappé warned of NBA-style load management coming to soccer also a day before the incident. Since Liverpool hasn’t yet figured out what to do when Salah is out of the lineup, it could pose a threat to the team’s current position in the English Premier League. The physical ask in professional soccer is second only to tennis, and historically players north of 30 shrivel up. Load management assumes that fans want their favorite players playing at a high level as long as possible. To maintain his performance over time, Salah must be used strategically. International tournaments and games against lower-tier clubs should become optional or scrapped. Some managers already roll out their B squads in certain situations and many try to be cautious with their vital players when possible. Soccer leagues should welcome stars managing their loads. Load management only affects those who obsess over sports and pay to watch every game. The segment of the population at risk of being off put work so much that they forget why they stopped going to the stadium in the first place. The key to load management is normalizing it for the public. The timing of Salah’s injury and Mbappé’s warning were the first steps. Us freaking out about it is the next.