Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes confirmed the club are doing everything possible to reduce the number of injuries.
McInnes’ selection options have been restricted by injuries with 10 outfield players sidelined for a month or more already this season.
There is real frustration for McInnes, because he insists it has already been proven that when he can field his strongest team it will deliver wins.
Sometimes you can be unlucky, but when it starts to get to the levels we’ve had of late, we need to look a bit closer at that.”
McInnes believes training switching between the firmer surface at the Cormack Park training complex (hybrid pitch) and softer Pittodrie (sand-based) pitch could be an issue – and confirmed the Dons will look into rectifying that.
He said: “Sometimes you can be unlucky, but when it starts to get to the levels we’ve had of late, we need to look a bit closer at that.
“We’re doing all we can, through medical and sports science, to try and reduce that because there’s nothing more frustrating for me than when players are ruled out, especially through training injuries.
“Every manager wants to have his strongest team available as often as possible.
“It’s clear that when we have our strongest team available we can produce better results.
“That has been indicative this season when we made very few changes in a strong run and it got us significant points and a decent start to the campaign.”
The catalogue of injuries has been high this season- yet the Dons sit fourth in the Premiership table, just three points behind Celtic in second.
Strikers Sam Cosgrove and Curtis Main both spent months on the sidelines following knee injuries that required surgery.
Scott Wright recently underwent an operation on a double hernia suffered in training and will be out until next month.
Last week Mikey Devlin was hit by a hamstring injury in training and will be out for three months.
On-loan Bristol City attacker Marley Watkins was ruled out for 10 weeks by a hamstring injury suffered in the 2-0 Scottish Cup semi-final loss to Celtic.
Watkins will not return to fitness until next month, after his loan spell has expired.
Winger Matty Kennedy was out for six weeks with an ankle injury and Jonny Hayes missed a month with a groin issue.
On-loan Leeds United striker Ryan Edmondson injured an ankle in training and was unavailable for more than a month.
Dylan McGeouch only this week returned to full training after two months out with a groin injury suffered during the 3-3 draw with Celtic in October.
Dean Campbell missed six weeks with a broken metatarsal and No.2 keeper Tomas Cerny has been out for three months with a knee injury.
McInnes said: “Of course we would look into reasons for that.
“We’ve had a lot more training hours than matches in a significant period.
“We’ve looked at significant studies.
“There’s a study in English professional football by Durham University and we tried to compare that to where we were
“The study showed that for every 1000 hours of match time, clubs were producing 25 significant injuries.
“And for every 1000 hours of training time, it was seven.
“In comparison to us over the last couple of seasons, we’ve had 35 in a 1000 hours of match time and nine training injuries in 1000 hours.
“So not too much difference in training, but there has been a significant amount more in matches.
“There can be various reasons for that.
“Hamstrings are the most frequent muscle group affected in all this study.
“We’ve looked at why are we suffering more than maybe in the past.”
Aberdeen moved into the £14 million Cormack Park training complex last October.
Previously the Dons had trained on various pitches around the city.
It was hoped having their own state of the art surface would help reduce injuries.
We’ve been at Cormack Park for a period now and are still picking up injuries.
“It is a real concern and we’ve looked at it in depth.”
McInnes said: “There was a train of thought that when we were training on two or three different surfaces, prior to getting Cormack Park, and then playing on a different surface on a Saturday, that may well have been a factor.
“But now we’ve been at Cormack Park for a period now and are still picking up injuries.
“It is a real concern and we’ve looked at it in depth.
“One reason, I think, is that we’ve invested in a brilliant hybrid pitch that endures a lot of training time at Cormack Park, but it is a really firm pitch and it’s totally different to Pittodrie, which is sand based and very much softer than what we have at the training ground.
“So the players are actually training on a different surface to what they’re playing on, that could be one reason.
“We’re looking into what could be done with that.
“Since we’ve moved to Cormack Park, we’ve increased our training time.
“For all these years, we’ve banged on about wanting a training facility because it’s conducive to extra training.
“We’re maybe actually in danger of training too much at the minute and we have to try and get the balance right of what we do when the players are there.
“We’ve got this shiny new facility and we want to utilise it the best we can, but we’ve also got to safeguard the first team.”