England and Tottenham forward Harry Kane has said he hopes artificial intelligence can revolutionise injury prevention, with a number of players set to miss the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
Sarina Wiegman’s England side won Euro 2022 last year but enter this summer’s tournament in Australia and New Zealand without stars Leah Williamson, Fran Kirby and Beth Mead.
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A number of other leading players will also miss the Women’s World Cup with knee injuries, including United States’ Catarina Macario, Netherlands’ Vivianne Miedema and France’s Marie-Antoinette Katoto.
Kane announced on Thursday his investment in OxeFit, an AI-driven fitness-tech startup, and said he is convinced in the power of real-time data to stop injuries.
“It’s been a real shame to see some of the women players go down with those injuries and big injuries as well,” Kane told Reuters.
“Injury prevention is something that is the most important thing to me.
“It [will] only get more impressive, AI will get better and hopefully in the long run we’ll start seeing less and less injuries.”
Kane said OxeFit’s technology can detect when an athlete might be favouring one side over another with real-time feedback.
“You’ve got a little issue on your left side or your right side and you need to even out because when you’re playing game after game, all you’re doing is just putting more impact on maybe the weaker side,” he said.
Kane said he sees enormous potential in the Lionesses to move the sport forward after FA chair Debbie Hewitt said last month that England are considering entering a bid to host the 2031 Women’s World Cup.
“[We were] lucky enough we had the European Championship last year and I was able to go there, watch the final at Wembley, watch them win. I saw how much it meant to the country — the country was so behind them, thousands and thousands of fans watching,” Kane said.
“The European Championship is great, but the World Cup is the pinnacle of football.”
Meanwhile, Kane wished his former coach Mauricio Pochettino the best of luck after he was appointed Chelsea manager on Monday.
“Mauricio was an amazing manager for me. Great person, great, great coach. Helped me a lot to get to where I am now. So I’m really appreciative of him,” Kane said.