Update on Watson's Hamstrngs

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Voyageur

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I think the best analogy for injuries like Kraft's is the title of an old WWII movie. A Bridge Too Far. Reaching out beyond what you're presently capable of, as if it will help you skip a step in moving forward. This is where coordinating training sessions for athletes becomes a must. On their own, peer pressure often makes them believe they have to reach out for more, before they're ready.

When I was in HS, playing football, I had huge thighs from working my tail off on our family farm. There was another kid in my HS class who had larger thighs, but he was into weight lifting, and body building. We both played football our freshman year in HS. When we went to our first practice, the coaches anointed him as the FB, and I would be the #2, or end up an offensive lineman they said.

On the third day of hell week, he ended up pulling a groin muscle, so I was immediately inserted in his place. I played through injuries all year, like a dislocated elbow, cracked ribs, and a broken nose. He, on the other hand, when he'd healed, immediately pulled a hamstring during wind sprints before he even got on the field to do a full practice. He didn't bother to come back from it, and I don't think the coaches were smart enough to realize his injury was due to his choice of preparations. In fact, I was the only one on the team that was allowed to skip the weight room all the way through my graduation. I think I was also the only kid in my class that didn't at least miss a few games because of injuries.

My weight training consisted of wrestling with bales of hay, loading a manure spreader with a manure fork, and toting large cans of milk around twice a day, plus working on harvesting each summer for several farmers in the area, since we were part of a co-op that worked together when the crops needed to be picked.

I remember something Mickey Mantle said about what he did during the off season. I believe he worked for a mining operation near his home in Oklahoma, and that's what gave him the training he needed during the off season to play baseball.

Sometimes the weight room is not a good place for conditioning. Strength building should be gradual, not something to rival what steroids can do.
 

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So you're saying that you and Rocky have a lot in common?

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El Guapo

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There was another kid in my HS class who had larger thighs, but he was into weight lifting, and body building. . .I don't think the coaches were smart enough to realize his injury was due to his choice of preparations.
Obviously more is known about the body since most of us were in school, but this is why strength training is emphasized over weight lifting. Flipping tractor tires, pulling the blocking sled, running with a parachute, and many other full-body movements are what really make the difference. Isolation muscle training just makes a bodybuilder look good.
 

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Obviously more is known about the body since most of us were in school, but this is why strength training is emphasized over weight lifting. Flipping tractor tires, pulling the blocking sled, running with a parachute, and many other full-body movements are what really make the difference. Isolation muscle training just makes a bodybuilder look good.
I remember when they had this competition among athletes from all walks of life, competition being across a wide spectrum of events. The first ones out in the competitions were body builders and boxers. In the end, it would boil down to the top contenders being in more fluid sports where they had supple muscles. I always thought that was a worthless competition because of the differences in disciplines.
 

milani

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Thanks 13. Interesting.

There is a machine at my gym called In Body - it's a scanner - you stand barefoot on two metal plates and hold two metal plated "arms" away from your body. The scan takes about 1 minute. The results are impressive in their breadth. It shows muscle mass and fat in each arm, leg and torso.

Now I'm a very fit guy, but also 70 y/o so I'm not like these chiseled, blazingly fast athletes we're talking about. FWIW the balance in muscle between my legs and arms is close, but not perfect. For example, my left arm is slightly smaller in muscle due to left shoulder arthritis, limiting how much and how often I can do chest presses, pull ups, anything that causes pain in my shoulder. But the difference is like 2%.

A 22% discrepancy in muscle mass between legs is huge. And on these guys, who have so little body fat, I would think such a discrepancy would be visible, very visible. Then again Watson is a big guy, 6'4" I think so maybe it wasn't visible.

The In Body machine does not differentiate between above the knee, below the knee. That's probably relevant and I'm sure whatever is being used on Watson is more advanced than what I use.

A discrepancy this large should cause a lot of problems, especially in the joints - hips, knees, ankles. I'm not saying I don't believe Watson's results. Just seems like this type of problem would have been obvious just to the eye.

Well I hope this solves his problem. Hamstring injuries are common in pro athletes. Would be great to make some progress on preventing this nasty injury.
I know with the lower body parts you cannot really compensate for one side because you move in sync. In the upper parts people and athletes do it all the time.
 

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I think that we're all here because the Packers are a part of our religion. We worship them on Sundays, preach the gospel, and shame the other faiths (Viking fans). It all makes sense now.

Errr, um.....Watson having this knowledge about his body makeup is one thing. Now he and the trainers need to put the correct plan in place and then he has to execute it in a short amount of time. Even then, who knows if this muscle mass scan is really the key to his injuries. It could be that he prefers Skippy over Jif, pours his milk before adding his cereal, or soaks his cereal instead of floating his cereal. There could be some series issues causing his hamstring that have nothing to do with muscle balance. :D
I think worshipping the Packers is a violation of one of the first four commandments. That’s ok I’ll take the risk. I can see the Packers. As for a god, depends on who you ask. I’ll keep going to church on Sunday at Lambeau.

And a 22% muscle mass discrepancy between legs in a well-conditioned athlete? Not buying it.
 

Heyjoe4

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Obviously more is known about the body since most of us were in school, but this is why strength training is emphasized over weight lifting. Flipping tractor tires, pulling the blocking sled, running with a parachute, and many other full-body movements are what really make the difference. Isolation muscle training just makes a bodybuilder look good.
Exactly. Athletes need functional strength. You certainly don’t get that from machines, more so from free weights, even more from practicing exercises that simulate game movements.
 

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If Watson had actually solved his hamstring issues then i think he’ll pretty definitely be the #1 receiver on the team. I love Reed but Watson has the physical ability to be one of the best receivers in the NFL if he can just stay healthy for more than 9 games a season. No clue how he developed 20% difference in muscle strength between his right and left legs but he’s getting them closer to even so I’m hopeful he’ll finally put together a dominant season.
 

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If Watson had actually solved his hamstring issues then i think he’ll pretty definitely be the #1 receiver on the team. I love Reed but Watson has the physical ability to be one of the best receivers in the NFL if he can just stay healthy for more than 9 games a season. No clue how he developed 20% difference in muscle strength between his right and left legs but he’s getting them closer to even so I’m hopeful he’ll finally put together a dominant season.
What I do find interesting is that nobody seemed to realize that when you continue doing training, but don't involve an injured limb, the other limbs are going to automatically be stronger. You don't have to be a genius, or in that field to realize it.

Yet, here we are, a new discovery. It makes me wonder just how bad the entire system has been in Green Bay. We've had so darned many injuries over the last several years.

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tynimiller

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What I do find interesting is that nobody seemed to realize that when you continue doing training, but don't involve an injured limb, the other limbs are going to automatically be stronger. You don't have to be a genius, or in that field to realize it.

Yet, here we are, a new discovery. It makes me wonder just how bad the entire system has been in Green Bay. We've had so darned many injuries over the last several years.

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To be fair this type of muscular imagery to measure and compare symmetry at this degree of detail is fairly new, at least commonly used by athletes and such. It is however becoming MUCH more common in the industry.
 

Heyjoe4

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If Watson had actually solved his hamstring issues then i think he’ll pretty definitely be the #1 receiver on the team. I love Reed but Watson has the physical ability to be one of the best receivers in the NFL if he can just stay healthy for more than 9 games a season. No clue how he developed 20% difference in muscle strength between his right and left legs but he’s getting them closer to even so I’m hopeful he’ll finally put together a dominant season.
Yeah good observations. He's so fast and so athletic he has to be accounted for by the opposing D. That makes him a real threat and also makes him a useful decoy. But he has to play more than 9 games.

As for the muscle discrepancy, well that seems impossible, but whatever. I don't know how they measure that so it may not be physical muscle mass and have more to do with muscles firing faster in one leg than the other.

It won't matter a bit and will be long forgotten if he gets back on the field and produces. I certainly like all of the Packer's young receivers and they are important - just think a healthy Watson is a legit #1 receiver.
 

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To be fair this type of muscular imagery to measure and compare symmetry at this degree of detail is fairly new, at least commonly used by athletes and such. It is however becoming MUCH more common in the industry.
Interesting and yeah, I've never heard of this technology but can believe it. They may also be measuring output per unit of muscle mass, which wouldn't create a visible discrepancy but certainly would create problems. Imagine doing a bench press with one arm 20% weaker. It all has to do with how the muscles are triggered into action. Well, I think....... They certainly have no reason to make anything up.

MLF has been using the usual talking points when referring to Watson's progress. He seems to genuinely think Stokes is back to full or near full form. These coaches all talk like lawyers anyway. I just hope they both have terrific seasons.
 

Voyageur

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To be fair this type of muscular imagery to measure and compare symmetry at this degree of detail is fairly new, at least commonly used by athletes and such. It is however becoming MUCH more common in the industry.
Excellent point. Modern technology does change the scope of things. Using that same technology, they should be able to prevent a vast majority of injuries like this from ever happening, if they spend the effort in evaluating all players to insure muscle symmetry. It might be surprising just how many muscle related injuries could be avoided.
 

tynimiller

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Interesting and yeah, I've never heard of this technology but can believe it. They may also be measuring output per unit of muscle mass, which wouldn't create a visible discrepancy but certainly would create problems. Imagine doing a bench press with one arm 20% weaker. It all has to do with how the muscles are triggered into action. Well, I think....... They certainly have no reason to make anything up.

MLF has been using the usual talking points when referring to Watson's progress. He seems to genuinely think Stokes is back to full or near full form. These coaches all talk like lawyers anyway. I just hope they both have terrific seasons.

Yeah, when I was in high school and quickly aspiring to go DI for pitching in baseball...one muscle which one coach pounded into me needed isolated attention was my left calf...as a pitcher our right calf fired constantly loading and firing off the rubber...and even at the plate same....that left calf was not worked nearly as much in the insport movement. I to this day suffer from a lot of left calf strains unless I remember to truly stretch it and lately as I've gotten older I force myself to do a ton of single left leg raises to combat the issue.
 

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Yeah, when I was in high school and quickly aspiring to go DI for pitching in baseball...one muscle which one coach pounded into me needed isolated attention was my left calf...as a pitcher our right calf fired constantly loading and firing off the rubber...and even at the plate same....that left calf was not worked nearly as much in the insport movement. I to this day suffer from a lot of left calf strains unless I remember to truly stretch it and lately as I've gotten older I force myself to do a ton of single left leg raises to combat the issue.
That's interesting and logical. I wonder what MLB pitchers, our any pitchers, do to balance that. Stretching and single leg raises makes sense, just tedious I imagine.

My left shoulder is due for a replacement, there is no cartilage left - it's bone on bone. The X-rays are clear. In the gym and in muscle scans I've had, my left arm is weaker (less muscle mass) than my right. I favor it slightly when I'm doing pull ups or chest presses any overhead press- and I favor it to minimize pain.

What amazes me is that I can use the arm at all. But a cortisone shot every 4 to 6 months helps a lot, and I can still raise my arm straight up over my head. Why it isn't more painful is a mystery. When my knees went bone on bone, replacement wasn't far behind.

Anyway, that's a long way of saying that physiology isn't a perfect science. I hope whatever Watson is doing to keep him on the field is successful.
 

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If Watson had actually solved his hamstring issues then i think he’ll pretty definitely be the #1 receiver on the team. I love Reed but Watson has the physical ability to be one of the best receivers in the NFL if he can just stay healthy for more than 9 games a season. No clue how he developed 20% difference in muscle strength between his right and left legs but he’s getting them closer to even so I’m hopeful he’ll finally put together a dominant season.
Hopefully Watson becoming a true WR 1 doesn't happen. It is well documented on here that the team is better off without one. So, here's to Christian pulling his hammy a time (or two).
 
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Thirteen Below

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And a 22% muscle mass discrepancy between legs in a well-conditioned athlete? Not buying it.
I don't have any problem at all accepting that.

Remember, 22% differential between muscle mass and muscle strength are not the same thing. I can easily believe that a muscle with less muscle tissue than its opposite muscle group can make up for that differential by becoming stronger.

I've mentioned before that in 1985 I had a construction accident in which my entire left quadricep was crushed by a backhoe falling on my leg and pinning it against the back corner of an excavation, and then sliding downward all the way to the kneecap. Most of the muscle mass of my quad was basically demolished.

Over the next couple of years, I was able to rebuild that quad to a point where I became a roughly ~300-350 mile per week recreational bicyclist, and a reasonably respectable Cat 3-2 bicycle racer (although I didn't have anywhere near what it took to truly be competitive; I just got lucky when other riders didn't take me seriously because I raced at 225 lbs. I only raced just to be able to say that I did it). Every Sunday was my day to ride from my condo in downtown Minneapolis to Stillwater MN to have lunch; Saturday was my day to ride to Hutchison, Chanhassen, or Shakopee.

I wasn't anywhere even remotely close to the level of conditioning as an NFL WR like Watson, but still.... I have gotten a hell of a lot of more out of that quad over the years than my ortho told me to expect. And just looking at it right now while I type, I find it hard to believe that the left quad is even close to 22% the mass of the right quad, because it's smaller, twisted a little; just not really the same.

But you put me on a bike and let me power up, and the left quad shows up and delivers. It has no problem keeping up with the other leg, or at least not something I can notice. In around 1997, I clocked a 5-mile time trial on Highway 101 along the Minnesota River bottoms in Shakopee on my Peugot LX 10 where I held and maintained 31-33 miles per hour. The left leg did its part every single stroke; I didn't notice any compensation on the part of my left leg. I do find that I need to drink a fair amount of Gatorade on hot days, and/or days when I testing the quad, because that quad starts to cramp up without electrolytes, but that's not even slightly inconvenient in the scheme of things. Hell; when I'm working out, I'm thirsty anyway.

What this suggests to me is that if you compete at a fairly high level, over time your muscle groups "learn" how to compensate. I remember so many rides, even 25-30 years later, just as clearly as if they happened yesterday - both legs just pump, pump, pumping, pound pound pounding, like pistons in a V-8; perfectly tuned and synchronized with each other as I worked through the gears on the hills, everything working like a perfect machine.... there is no way you could have told me in the 90s that my left quad had less muscle mass than my right, because there was no detectable disparity in output. The left seemed just as strong as the right.

But the last couple of weeks, reading this stuff about Watson, I realize there probably has to be less muscle mass there. I know from ultrasounds over the years that there's a lot of scar tissue in the muscle, and it definitely is smaller, but I never put 2 and 2 together before, that more scarf tissue = less muscle mass. Makes me suspect that a lot of times, when people have injuries, the body adjusts over time and compensates, and you never really know about it unless you're an elite athlete like Watson - who eventually gets sophisticated testing. How many other people would ever do that?

Another thing that occurs to me.... I have hip problems in my left hip, knee problems that are definitely due to my quadricep pulling differently against my kneecap than it is supposed to, Achilles heel issues because the tendon doesn't line up with the attachment points on the foot according to specs, and lumbar spine issues that may have to do with subtle deviations in my gait and my stride. So that, too, makes it a little bit easier to believe that Watson is having hamstring issues related to a discrepancy in muscle mass.

But none of that really gets me much closer to being convinced that it will be fixable. It's a starting point; but if whatever caused this disparity has been going on long enough, it may be that his body has adapted to it so much that there really is no stuffing the toothpaste back in the tube.

Edit: oops. "=", not "+"
 
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You nailed it. Varsity point guard at Plaquemine High School.
I honestly did not know that. I like to watch some of our players film review or highlights just to stay entertained in the offseason. It just stood out that Wicks would leap for a pass and contort his body and come down very balanced on both feet. Smooth like Davante, maybe not quite as fast but Dontayvion is somewhat reminiscent of how Adams moves.
 
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Sunshinepacker

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Hopefully Watson becoming a true WR 1 doesn't happen. It is well documented on here that the team is better off without one. So, here's to Christian pulling his hammy a time (or two).
How about this, i would rather have a WR capable of putting up 100 receptions for 1,500 yards than NOT have that guy. How is having an elite player bad for the team? Then, when he leaves in free agency and signs a massive deal elsewhere the Packers can get that magical 3rd round comp pick.
 

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How about this, i would rather have a WR capable of putting up 100 receptions for 1,500 yards than NOT have that guy. How is having an elite player bad for the team? Then, when he leaves in free agency and signs a massive deal elsewhere the Packers can get that magical 3rd round comp pick.

Yup I think similar. I DO NOT want us to EVER pay a WR a Top10 type contract to be our WR1 but I sure as heck would love to have guys playing like or proving to be that type of guy.
 

Heyjoe4

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I don't have any problem at all accepting that.

Remember, 22% differential between muscle mass and muscle strength are not the same thing. I can easily believe that a muscle with less muscle tissue than its opposite muscle group can make up for that differential by becoming stronger.

I've mentioned before that in 1985 I had a construction accident in which my entire left quadricep was crushed by a backhoe falling on my leg and pinning it against the back corner of an excavation, and then sliding downward all the way to the kneecap. Most of the muscle mass of my quad was basically demolished.

Over the next couple of years, I was able to rebuild that quad to a point where I became a roughly ~300-350 mile per week recreational bicyclist, and a reasonably respectable Cat 3-2 bicycle racer (although I didn't have anywhere near what it took to truly be competitive; I just got lucky when other riders didn't take me seriously because I raced at 225 lbs. I only raced just to be able to say that I did it). Every Sunday was my day to ride from my condo in downtown Minneapolis to Stillwater MN to have lunch; Saturday was my day to ride to Hutchison, Chanhassen, or Shakopee.

I wasn't anywhere even remotely close to the level of conditioning as an NFL WR like Watson, but still.... I have gotten a hell of a lot of more out of that quad over the years than my ortho told me to expect. And just looking at it right now while I type, I find it hard to believe that the left quad is even close to 22% the mass of the right quad, because it's smaller, twisted a little; just not really the same.

But you put me on a bike and let me power up, and the left quad shows up and delivers. It has no problem keeping up with the other leg, or at least not something I can notice. In around 1997, I clocked a 5-mile time trial on Highway 101 along the Minnesota River bottoms in Shakopee on my Peugot LX 10 where I held and maintained 31-33 miles per hour. The left leg did its part every single stroke; I didn't notice any compensation on the part of my left leg. I do find that I need to drink a fair amount of Gatorade on hot days, and/or days when I testing the quad, because that quad starts to cramp up without electrolytes, but that's not even slightly inconvenient in the scheme of things. Hell; when I'm working out, I'm thirsty anyway.

What this suggests to me is that if you compete at a fairly high level, over time your muscle groups "learn" how to compensate. I remember so many rides, even 25-30 years later, just as clearly as if they happened yesterday - both legs just pump, pump, pumping, pound pound pounding, like pistons in a V-8; perfectly tuned and synchronized with each other as I worked through the gears on the hills, everything working like a perfect machine.... there is no way you could have told me in the 90s that my left quad had less muscle mass than my right, because there was no detectable disparity in output. The left seemed just as strong as the right.

But the last couple of weeks, reading this stuff about Watson, I realize there probably has to be less muscle mass there. I know from ultrasounds over the years that there's a lot of scar tissue in the muscle, and it definitely is smaller, but I never put 2 and 2 together before, that more scarf tissue = less muscle mass. Makes me suspect that a lot of times, when people have injuries, the body adjusts over time and compensates, and you never really know about it unless you're an elite athlete like Watson - who eventually gets sophisticated testing. How many other people would ever do that?

Another thing that occurs to me.... I have hip problems in my left hip, knee problems that are definitely due to my quadricep pulling differently against my kneecap than it is supposed to, Achilles heel issues because the tendon doesn't line up with the attachment points on the foot according to specs, and lumbar spine issues that may have to do with subtle deviations in my gait and my stride. So that, too, makes it a little bit easier to believe that Watson is having hamstring issues related to a discrepancy in muscle mass.

But none of that really gets me much closer to being convinced that it will be fixable. It's a starting point; but if whatever caused this disparity has been going on long enough, it may be that his body has adapted to it so much that there really is no stuffing the toothpaste back in the tube.

Edit: oops. "=", not "+"
I think Ty is right. There have been advances in how these things are measured.

I'd just like to see whatever they've discovered with Watson get fixed.
 
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Yup I think similar. I DO NOT want us to EVER pay a WR a Top10 type contract to be our WR1 but I sure as heck would love to have guys playing like or proving to be that type of guy.
Yes. I’d prefer 3 guys capable of WR1 or clear TE1 attention or production.. verses just one WR or TE and a bunch of guys that we have to go into an extensive debate about are they WR3 or WR5?
 
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I’d rather have 3 Receivers (TE or WR idc) clip 1,000+ working on Rookie deals than 1 WR clip 1,400+ etc. and demand $35mil yearly and pout if he gets $30mil.
Call it 3-4 lower end WR1’s etc. Some others actually don’t believe that’s possible so they never consider past the scraps from the Banquet table. I’m glad the Packers don’t think like some of us fans or we’d be routinely #4 in the Division like Chicago or The Vikings.

Get Watson Healthy and we actually have 3-5 guys with a chance to be a ~1,000 yard producer in 2024. My guesses would be Watson, Reed, Doubs, Wicks or Musgrave. I think anyone three of them can be that good if they stay healthy
 
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If everyone stays relatively healthy we won't have more than one 1,000 yarder...

Even in our insanely high productive year where Rodgers flirted with 5,000 we had only Nelson eclipse 1,000.
 
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If everyone stays relatively healthy we won't have more than one 1,000 yarder...

Even in our insanely high productive year where Rodgers flirted with 5,000 we had only Nelson eclipse 1,000.
Don’t be too sure of that. Rodgers did it in his first 2 starting seasons. 2008,2009. Then He had 5 seasons where he had either 2 or 3 WR’s post 950+. He had another where had Jermichael miss the last 6.5 games he was on pace to break 1000. So health would’ve absolutely played a prominent role in accomplishing that in a 6th season. Those were all 16 game seasons btw.
We have our jermichael. I think we 100% have the ability to get a 1000+ receiver. Maybe a pair if things go well. I just think we’ve had Adams and not much else and got used to that inequity.
 
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