Follow me:

Learn English Through Football Podcast: Injury Crisis

In this football language podcast we look at the phrase ‘injury crisis‘ and other injury-related words and expressions. You can read the transcript for this podcast below, while you can also check out our glossary of footballing phrases here and visit our site to access all our previous posts and podcasts. If you have any suggestions or questions then you can contact us at

Contact Us  Forum Glossary

Learn English Through Football Podcast: Injury Crisis

Embed from Getty Images

DB: Hello everyone. You’re listening to’s   football language podcast. A podcast for everyone who wants to improve their English and loves the beautiful game of football. Welcome from a sunny Tokyo, where I’m based.

J1 Champions

In Japan, Kobe have just been crowned J1 Champions for the first time in their history, having sealed the crown last week, with one game to go. Congratulations to them. And joining the top flight next season will be Machida Zelvia Júbilo Iwata, and Tokyo Verdy, who all won promotion. Well done those three teams. So, the league season is over here on Japan but is just about to enter its busiest period in the Premier League in England. I wonder how it is over there in England. Let’s hear what Damian, the other half of the languagecaster team has to say from London.

Embed from Getty Images

Frozen Pitches

DF: Hi Damon and hello to all our listeners from a very cold London where it is so cold that we have even seen a little bit of snow. There are also some pitch inspections taking place before some of this weekend’s game due to the snow. Now, a pitch inspection is when the referee looks at the pitch before the match starts to see whether the game can take place (or go ahead) because of bad weather such as heavy rain or snow. If the pitch passes the pitch inspection then the game will go ahead and be played. However, if the referee feels that the pitch is unplayable – maybe waterlogged or frozen, then the game will be called off or postponed. Let’s hope there are not too many postponements this weekend! 

DB: Frozen pitches reminds me of PE class when I was in secondary school. Playing football on a frozen pitch was bad, but rugby was awful. You didn’t want to fall down on the hard surface: cuts, bruises, twisted ankles, and other injuries were common – and injuries is the focus of today’s podcast. 

Stinger: You are listening to (in Spanish).

Key Words

DB: Yes, you are listening to and that message was in Spanish. Right, let’s take a look at some of the language used to describe an injury crisis – how many of them can you hear in the report that follows? 

  1. Casualties: This word in football describes players who cannot play due to injury.
  2. Injury list: The list of players who are unable to play for the club due to injuries.
  3. Down to the bare bones: This is an expression which means that a squad does not have too many players available – the bare minimum. 
  4. Ruled out (with): This expression is used when a player cannot play a game due to injury or suspension
  5. Long-term injury: When a player misses many matches due to injury or cannot play for a long time. 
  6. Pick up an injury: To become injured; to get an injury.

Stinger: You are listening to (in Danish)

DB: And that message was in Danish. OK, here’s Damian to talk about injury crisis. Remember to listen out for the words we’ve just discussed.

Injury crisis

Embed from Getty Images

DF: So, an injury is when a player cannot play a game due to the fact that they are hurt because their body has been damaged in some way; they have a physical problem. This might be a serious or long-term injury such as an ACL (that’s anterior cruciate ligament) or maybe a broken leg. Or it might be a less serious injury such as a strain; so players pick up an injury (or suffer an injury) and not play due to knocks, twists, pulls, strains or even illness. If a player cannot play due to the injury then the club announces that they are on the injury list which is an official list of players who are unavailable for selection – they won’t play in the next game or games.  

Ruled out

Sometimes a club has lots of injuries meaning many of their players cannot play; so we can say that the club has a lot of casualties or a long injury list or that they have an injury crisis. This final phrase has been used quite a lot this season as many Premier League clubs have lost many players due to injuries. Currently, three Premier League clubs have long injury lists with many first-team players out through injury and so we can say that they are suffering an injury crisis. Brighton have 10 players ruled out through injury; Newcastle have 11 (plus one long-term suspension) and Tottenham have 9 players unable to play.

Some of these injuries are long term. Perisic for Spurs is out until the end of the season, while others do not have a return date – we don’t know when they are expected to start playing again. Sometimes we might hear a manager describe their squad as depleted which means that something has been used up or that there is not much left, while we might also hear the cliche ‘down to the bare bones‘ which means that the squad only has the minimum amount of players available. We might see an extra goalkeeper or some youth players on the bench in this case and we can also call this a makeshift squad. Here are a couple of examples:

So, this means that their squad has been depleted because of injuries and suspensions and they don’t have their full quota of players.  

Stinger: You are listening to (in French)


DB: Yes, you are listening to, and that message was in French. Remember, that at language caster’s site you can find out more about some of the words and phrases that we have already discussed, along with hundreds more football-language expressions by checking out our football-language glossary. A-BC-DE-FG-HI-K L-NO-QR-ST-VW-Z0-9

DB: All the entries are in alphabetical order, so just click on the letter the phrase or word begins with and check out its meaning.

Stinger: You are listening to (a West Ham fan).


DF: OK, if you have any questions or comments about any of the words and phrases from today or indeed any other football language then drop us an email at And you can also look out for us on Facebook, Twitter and on Instagram, while we are also posting some material on our YouTube page. Come along and say hello. We also have a football-language forum where you can ask and answer any questions you have on the language of football. We’ve had a recent question around the word ‘dive‘ and ‘down the middle‘ when taking a penalty. Take a look at some of the posts there, do some of the quizzes, add a comment or a question or simply say hi.

Subscribe to our Podcast

DB: And of course, don’t forget to subscribe to our football-language podcasts. We have recently posted podcasts around the phrases, ‘rattle the crossbar‘; ‘fortress‘ and ‘mis-hit clearance‘. You can access all of our other football-language podcasts. We have hundreds of them stretching back to October 2006. So come along to our site here at

Learning English Through Football Podcast



DB: Don’t forget there’s a transcript for this short podcast with lots of vocabulary support. If you look at the posts on our site you can see that we explain lots of the meanings of these words in the transcript. Come along and have a look!

DF: OK, that’s it for this podcast in which we looked at some language around the phrase, injury crisis, including ‘down to the bare bones’ and ‘long-term casualty‘. Let us know if you hear these phrases or any other phrases connected to injuries – in any language – over the next week.

DB: Enjoy all the football. Ta-ra!

DF: Bye bye!

Related Vocabulary

Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

Welcome to the website that helps students interested in football improve their English language skills. Soccer fans can enhance these skills with lots of free language resources: a weekly podcast, football phrases, explanations of football vocabulary, football cliches, worksheets, quizzes and much more at

Google | Facebook | Twitter | Mail | Website

Join the discussion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More from this show

Football Language Podcast

Football Language Podcast: Heavy

The Learn English Through Football podcast explains the language of football: This week, we look at the word 'heavy' and its use in...