Portsmouth goalkeeper David James has voiced his concerns over the 'horror stories' of medical mismanagement in top-level football.
The England goalkeeper is currently undergoing a rehabilitation programme following surgery on a long-standing shoulder injury.
James is refusing to rush back from the operation, which was delayed to the end of 2008/09 in order to help Portsmouth avoid Premier League relegation, because of his fears over regaining full fitness.
The 38-year-old does not want to run the risk of following in the footsteps of the injury-prone players he has encountered during his career.
James believes external factors, such as a lack of financial investment and careless recruitment policies for medical staff, can cost players.
He said in The Observer: "I have heard plenty of horror stories - a star player whose medical staff forgot to remove the pins from a broken bone, misdiagnosis that led to months of problems, outdated expertise and an overall archaic approach.
"Again and again I've been told about players who attempt to seek medical advice from outside their club and are either forced to pay their own costs, or refused co-operation with the treatment.
"And always the same conclusion - players being routinely rushed back on to the field before they are fit, only to break down again.
"What I can't understand is why clubs who pay out millions in wages don't invest in the best physiotherapy available. Why risk bringing a player back too quickly, only for the problems to return?
"As I see it, football it once again lagging behind - physios are not up to date with the latest advances in medical care and too many appointments are still on the basis of 'jobs for the boys'.
"Factor in the pressures physios are under from managers and directors to get players back on the pitch and it's a dismal picture."