Steven Gerrard, Leighton Baines & Matthew Lowton can all finish the 2012/13 Premier League season having played every minute for their clubs.
At Stamford Bridge on Sunday there were some very tired bodies on show. New Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio has questioned predecessor Martin O'Neil's management of his squad's fitness, while Chelsea have already played in seven competitions and have endured some fixture pile-ups.
However, the Chelsea and Sunderland players in question have no excuses compared with the three players who have not missed a single minute of action so far this season.
The three outfield players are Gerrard, Lowton and Baines, all of whom have obviously been central to their managers’ plans and have been key to their teams’ seasons.
This achievement is even more remarkable for Gerrard, Liverpool’s captain, who has been affected by injury in the past and, at the age of 32, has surely suffered physically in favour of aiding his team's pursuit for European football.
His fitness has allowed him to score last-minute winners as well, including his last-gasp penalty against Tottenham last month.
Lowton, Villa’s youthful full-back has also stayed the distance, clocking up 2880 minutes in the process. However, with a dangerous nine yellow cards to his name, the Englishman who scored a 35-yard screamer against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium last Saturday is just one game away from clocking a two-game suspension which would end his incredible run.
Baines is a testament to the fitness team at Everton. The England international, who bounds down the left touchline game-in game-out, never runs out of energy and has a real chance of reaching the end of the season having not missed a second.
Of course there are the usual string of goalkeepers who are Joe Hart, Asmir Begovic, Juusi Jaaskelainen, and Simon Mignolet, but they cannot claim to have matched the achievement considering veteran keeper Brad Friedel played 310 consecutive league games - although their run is still impressive.
One thing’s for sure: Gerrard, Lowton, and Baines all deserve their off-season rest this summer.
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