NBA Injuries

Role Player Meyers Leonard Out 4-6 Weeks With Ankle Sprain

Photographer: Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire

Role Player Meyers Leonard Out 4-6 Weeks With Ankle Sprain

Meyers Leonard, the role playing forward for the Portland Trailblazers will be out for the foreseeable future.

The Trail Blazers announced on Friday that Leonard will miss four to six weeks because of a right ankle sprain. Leonard was averaging 5.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per game in two 2017-18 contests thus far.

Leonard is mainly a role player for Portland, and he appeared in a career-high 74 games last season. His average last season was 5.4 points and 3.2 rebounds a night in 2016-17 after posting career-best totals of 8.4 points and 5.1 rebounds per game two seasons ago in 2015-16.

The University of Illinois product really helps to stretch the floor as a matchup problem in the frontcourt and has a career  37.1 percent shooting clip from three-point range.

The Injury

Normal ankle sprains, especially on high level athletes, getting treatment at all hours of the day, can generally heal in 2-4 weeks at most. When an “ankle sprain” is being forecasted to put a player out 4-6 weeks, we as clinicians start thinking that perhaps it was a high ankle sprain. A high ankle sprain is also known as a “syndesmotic sprain”. It is labeled such because it involves the syndesmotic ligaments that connect the two lower leg bones (the tibia and the fibula), and it is located up high (above) the ankle joint.

Return To Play

Early on (or acutely as they say), treatment will consist of controlling the swelling with your typical rest, ice, compression, and elevation (R.I.C.E.). Clinicians will then determine the stability of the ankle, and if it is stable, the rehabilitation will begin. There will be gentle range of motion and strengthening with elastic bands or light ankle weights early on in the process. It is not uncommon to see the use of crutches or a walking boot in the first phase trying to limit external rotation (or turning outward) of the joint and ligaments . The next phase will consist of weight bearing and more aggressive strengthening with heavier weights and machines from the knee (and even the hip) down due to the chain like presentation of hip to knee to ankle. Finally, more strengthening and plyometrics (or jumping and landing) for full return to jumping sports. The slow healing and strengthening progression while the pain subsides with why this injury can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks or beyond.

High Ankle Sprain

High Ankle Sprain

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