Expert insight into the sports injury-healing  process – Jason Greeff

AS we go into the latter part of the year, it’s perhaps time for KZN10 sportsmen to reflect on what they did well and what they can change.

But during this relative down time, especially for the winter sport aficionados, a degree of conditioning training will be expected – as the cricket, basketball and water polo seasons are already upon us.

Jono Cook feature image: Maritzburg College biokineticist Jason Greeff.

For the rugby, hockey and even the football programmes there will be a cooling off period for most, with rest and rehab thrown into the mix.


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The biggest bugbear of every sports-mad KZN10 schoolboy is injury: the seasons are short, compact and extremely intensive; a few weeks out of action, less-than-ideal rehab and suddenly the rugby (for example) season is done and dusted; and potential has not come close to being realised.

What’s even worse is that for the grade 12s it’s the last time they will ever have the unforgettable opportunity to play KZN10 schoolboy sport – you want to leave school with great sporting memories, not “what-might-have-beens”.

So let’s take a look at what the KZN10 schoolboy sport medical specialists’ views are; general pointers to guide KZN10 schoolboy athletes whatever their primary sports code may be:



A while ago, KZN10 asked Maritzburg College biokineticist Jason Greeff, who works closely with physiotherapist Mike Denton, to enlighten us on some of the processes.

Jono: Jason, you have honours degrees in both biokinetics and sports science, and extensive work experience in elite sport, including KZN10 sport, what has always intrigued me personally is how do the bio and physio work together?

Jason: “Jono basically the difference between a bio and physio is that the physio handles the initial phase of injury, while the bio takes over from the physio so that the athlete can to return to play.


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“Physios handle the acute injury – they deal with chronic injuries as well, but acute being the initial injury once it’s occurred. Physios handle the fibro-blast repair phase, which is the inflammation; they help the muscle heal, the swelling, the initial healing.

“Once the ‘wound’ has healed and there is pain-free range of motion, there will be a handover from the physio to the bio. Those muscles have atrophied; they have become weaker because they haven’t been used.

“So the biokineticist’s job is to strengthen those muscles to make sure that (a) the injury doesn’t re-occur and (b) also to get the player up-to-speed with his fitness so that he can get back into the match arena.”



Jason certainly knows his stuff, having completed his internship at the Sharks under the guidance of the legendary Jimmy Wright, a man with 30-plus years’ experience in the field in dealing with professional athletes.

Jason: “Yes, Jono, from Jimmy I learnt so much; every time I sat with Jimmy there was something new to take away. I was privileged in having that exposure at such a high level and it laid the foundation for my working with schoolboy teams.”

An interesting aside is that Jason is a big fan of athletics; the sports code being a vital component in the physical development of athletes no matter their sports code of choice, that is, their sports code that involves running as a specific skill in the sport.


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Jason: “Jono, in many sports codes it’s essentially all about the mechanics of running. And that is where the sport of athletics comes in.

“From a young  age, most [KZN10] boys haven’t been taught how to run efficiently, so from a bio-mechanical point of view more emphasis on athletics in the first school term would definitely aid speedwork, fitness and injury prevention, while the benefits of cross-over training into, for example, the rugby, hockey and soccer seasons, to name but three, will go a long way towards minimising needless injuries.”

Jono: Thanks Jason, certainly much food for thought, and in your employers’ case, Maritzburg College is perfectly placed to take advantage of this insight now that an internationally accredited athletics stadium lies literally a hop, step and jump from the school precinct in Princess Margaret Drive.



Roll on the rest of 2019 – and, of course, a bright new start with the year 2020 not far away. can barely wait.


Clear communication is the key to success.