Klay Thompson shouldn't play for 2 years, knee expert says

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Klay Thompson shouldn't play for 2 years, knee expert says

Postby Andrew on Wed Sep 25, 2019 3:29 am

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Some interesting comments from someone who, while they haven't examined or treated Klay Thompson specifically, knows what they're talking about.

Hewett, who served as the director of Ohio State's Sports Health and Performance Institute, and Dr. Christopher Nagelli of the Mayo Clinic co-authored a study that found that players who suffer ACL injuries should sit out two years.


In the last 25 years of NBA knee injuries, there have been six re-injuries out of 67 ACL tears, nearly 10 percent. Re-injury of an ACL tear can have grave consequences. It ended the careers of Josh Howard and Michael Redd.

Jabari Parker tore his ACL in his rookie season and then again in 2016-17. His performance has never lived up the expectations generated by his overall No. 2 draft selection.

"If you return that athlete (with an ACL tear) anywhere prior to 12 months, or in that range, the risk is exponentially higher," Hewett said. "You decrease your risk for re-injury every month you delay."

Hewett noted that players who return only one year after an ACL injury typically see a significant decline in performance. A recent example is Zach LaVine, who struggled when he returned after a year of recovery, shooting well below his career average.

"It's not just psychological," he told Heavy. "It is physical, too. Your graft is still mush. You are grafting a piece of tendon onto the ACL in that surgery. It takes 18-24 months for a grafted ligament to re-ligamentize, to mature to the point where it is something close to a baseline of where it was before. If you are playing before that, you're playing on a ligament that's not done healing."


It puts previous players' injuries in perspective. Obviously there's pressure to return as quickly as possible, and that leads to controversy when players continue to sit, such as when Derrick Rose missed the entire 2013 season. He of course ended up getting injured again 10 games into the 2014 season; admittedly it was the other knee, but he wasn't quite the same player and compensating for the original injury likely was a factor in that. As tough as it may be for everyone concerned for a player to have to sit out 18-24 months, the ambitious timetable for their return does seem risky, and players have paid the price for taking that risk in the past.
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Re: Klay Thompson shouldn't play for 2 years, knee expert says

Postby [Q] on Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:25 pm

A lot of players come to mind when it comes to reinjuring knees or injuring the other one out of compensation. There is definitely a pattern there
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Re: Klay Thompson shouldn't play for 2 years, knee expert says

Postby air gordon on Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:00 am

interesting read. i don't think saying performance will decline after returning from major injury is anything new. only aliens like adiran peterson and russell westbrook come to mind as players who came back early and still were great.

seeing how teams have so much $ invested in players now, i can see from a management POV why they want to keep players out until the following season to return from major injury.

though d-Rose's doctor did say part of the rehab is to actually play in addition to the maintenance and strengthening he was going through
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Re: Klay Thompson shouldn't play for 2 years, knee expert says

Postby [Q] on Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:05 am

The problem with Rose was that his hard style of play probably led to or contributed to the injuries. That might have been true for anybody else but I don't think playing more would help him rehab, especially if he's not at full strength
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