McElhone's heralded Celtic treatment and how it could help injury problems long term

By Euan Davidson

December 10, 2021

At the end of November, Celtic heralded a new deal with The Turmeric Co [Celtic FC], approved by new Head of Sports Science, Anton McElhone.

A company helmed by Wales international Hal Robson-Kanu, Celtic are the first Scottish club to have linked themselves with the experimental new treatment. Turmeric, known for turning curries yellow, might just be seen as something that’s handy in the spice rack.

But it could be fundamental to how Celtic treat muscle injuries going forward. And the timing really couldn’t be any better.

Photo by Tom Stoddart/Getty Images

Across the squad, hamstring injuries have become commonplace. That’s largely due to the intense new pressing style brought to the club by Ange Postecoglou. It’s yielding results, but just like when Klopp arrived at Liverpool in 2016, the injuries are piling up.

Turmeric though, and the new Celtic partnership with Robson-Kanu’s company, may prove vital. In a peer-reviewed study of Curcumin, a compound found in Turmeric, academics found [Frontiers]: “…curcumin enhanced the creation of granulation tissue, including rapid re-epithelialization, greater cell content, and neo-vascularization of wound impaired with hydrocortisone.”

In layman’s terms, the active compounds found in Turmeric can aid muscle and cell recovery very quickly. Curcumin is a naturally anti-flammatory [Healthline], which means that contact injuries can also be aided through its use.

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In a report for the Athletic, sports nutritionist Nigel Mitchell said: “Especially in a contact sport like football, you’re constantly getting knocks and bruises. This increases the overall inflammation.

“Now, some inflammation is good for you. You need it, it helps recovery. But if you have too much inflammation, that’s bad for the body. Curcumin can act as anti-inflammatory medicine. That can just help protect against oxidated damage to joints and muscles.”

Turmeric shots may hold key to Anton McElhone’s approach to Celtic injuries

Undoubtedly, it’s interesting stuff. Many of us will have Turmeric somewhere in the kitchen, without knowing that it has incredible health benefits, especially relating to injury.

With Kyogo, Albian Ajeti and James McCarthy all struggling against Real Betis last night, the shame is that it didn’t come sooner as an aid for Anton McElhone. This is a guy who, after all, improved the fitness of teams like Tottenham Hotspur and New England Revolution to an enormous extent.

Supplements and natural sources of cell regeneration and injury recovery are clearly a fundamental part of McElhone’s strategy. Little wonder it attracted Ange Postecoglou to his way of thinking. As forward-thinking as it gets in terms of football management, Ange needs this to get to work quickly.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Injuries in bunches have been a sustained frustration for Celtic. Especially this season.

In September, Ange Postecoglou admitted to feeling as if he’d walked under a ladder [Glasgow Times]. Last night he added that “we’re just going through a bit of a rough drop that never seems to end”.

So, he’ll need this to work quickly. But the timing of the latest partnership Celtic had established will surely be under the spotlight now.

Will a spice help Celtic prevent muscle injuries long-term? The club will be hoping so.

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