As the January transfer window draws to a close - what happens in a footballer's medical?

Video report by ITV Granada Reports sports correspondent Mike Hall

As the January transfer window draws to a close have you ever wondered what is involved in a footballer's medical?

Every player must have one before completing a transfer and 25-year-old Joe Denman allowed our cameras to see behind the scenes.

The Manchester Institute of Health and Performance conducts medicals for many of the region's football clubs, from League Two players to the stars of the Premier League.

Professor Malhotra and Joe Denman from Bury AFC during his medical Credit: ITV Granada

Professor Aneil Malhotra, one of the UK's leading cardiologists says the process starts with a detailed look at the player's heart.

"The players are assets to the club and almost like an M.O.T for a car, you want to ensure everything about a player is functioning correctly."

The medic's job is to sign off on a healthy heart, looking out for any underlying conditions the players themselves may not be aware of.

"We aren't there to ascertain how fit an athlete is, but whether there is an underlying cardiac condition that can predispose this athlete to sudden cardiac arrest during exercise on the pitch."

Professor Malhotra one of the leading cardiologists carrying out the footballer's medical Credit: ITV Granada

Joe plays for non-league Bury AFC, but fans do not need to worry, he is not planning to leave but has agreed to take the test for his own reassurance.

Professor Malhotra says after an ECG and ultrasound, it's so far so good for Joe.

"As many as one in 250 footballers may harbour a life-threatening cardiac condition."

"We sit the player down, talk about the risks associated with playing football if they've got that condition. And then it's up to the player if they wish to continue."

"But then also the club has a responsibility to look after that player, so it's part of that shared decision-making process."

Players then have an MRI Scan of their spine, pelvis, knees, ankles and muscles to look again for any pre-existing injuries.

Professor Waqar Bhatti has scanned more than a billion pounds worth of footballing talent over nearly 20 years.

"As you know some of these players are getting paid several hundred thousand pounds a week."

"So there will be some players that are carrying an injury and during the testing they'll be saying they aren't experiencing any pain. But the scanner never lies, we can pick up those injuries."

Joe Denman is giving a clean bill of health and had the medical for reassurance Credit: ITV Granada

Thankfully for Joe, there are no such concerns and after routine blood tests he gets a clean bill of health.

The player says, "It was brilliant, the level of detail is something that you wouldn't get at our level or generally day to day. "

"So really interesting to see pictures of your heart and speak to the doctors and see what they have to say."

Asked if it was reassuring to find out all is good?, he said, "Yeah I didn't come in with any worries and thankfully I'm not leaving with any, so I'm happy with that."

Which is great news for Bury who thanks to the medical know they have a player at the peak of his powers.

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