Joe Mattock’s sugar injections and other weird and wonderful recovery techniques used by sportspeople

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Sheffield Wednesday defender Joe Mattock has revealed in The Star that his quick recovery from an ankle injury could be down to sugar injections.

The left back was due to be out for eight weeks but is now back and fit after five having undertaken a procedure which involves a syringe which contains a sugar substance being injected into the injured part of the body.

While it may not be the most typical way to recover, it’s far from the most bizarre.

READ MORE: Speedy return as sweet as sugar for Joe Mattock

Here are some other strange cures sportspeople have tried to hasten their return after injury...

Placenta fluid

Arguably the strangest of them all but some of the biggest names in football have sworn by it. Serbian physiotherapist Mariana Kovacevic promotes a technique whereby placenta fluid, horse’s usually, is massaged into the injured area. It hit the headlines when it was revealed that Robin van Persie took part in the procedure to help his hamstring and since then a host of stars have been lining up to reap the benefits.


Former Fulham manager Felix Magath became the subject of some ridicule when it was revealed that he advised Brede Hangeland to use cheese to quicken his comeback. Those who scoffed put forward the image of a footballer with a block of Red Leicester strapped to their leg. It wasn’t really that way, and Magath said he thought Hangeland should try the old wives tale of quark cheese soaked in alcohol. However, it shouldn’t be taken lightly as skier Lindsey Vonn said she took a similar approach after injuring her shin as she prepared for the Olympics. She chose topfen, an Austrian soft cheese. I’m not sure Dairylea would work quite so well.

Goats blood

More injections, this time blood...goat’s blood. Yes, St Johnstone striker Peter Macdonald claimed that the treatment helped loosen his hamstrings. German doctor Wilhelm Muller-Wolfhart, who was with Bayern Munich practises the strange approach, but the Scottish forward said at the time it saved his career.

Emu belly oil

Paul Radcliffe used the ancient aboriginal treatment after being involved in a collision with a cyclist. Paula’s pysiotherapist Gerard Hartmann was given the recomendation by Australian athlete Cathy Freeman who was a big fan of the treatment. Maybe that’s why Rod Hull was so lively on TV.


The slimy squirmy bloodsuckers were widely used in days of yore to help clean wounds but Louis Saha brought them back into fashion when he said he used leeches to help reduce swelling in his knee. The French striker had long been troubled by injury and his knees had begun to flare up later in his career, however after using leeches when at his grandparents house in Guadeloupe he said that he had ‘the legs and hunger of a 20-year-old’.