By: Lowell Weil Jr., DPM
Last Friday, when the Bulls’ starting center Joakim Noah turned his ankle under his leg in a gruesome position, and the typically classless Philadelphia fans (I know...I did my residency there) cheered his injury, the Bulls’ hopes of progressing through the playoffs may have died. Bulls fans around the country held their breaths as they watched yet another star player go down in excruciating pain.
Fortunately, X-rays did not find an ankle fracture, but we can be sure that he suffered a severe sprain.
So, what exactly is a “sprain” you ask?
A sprain occurs when ligaments (tissues that connect bone to bone) are injured. This injury can take the form of a stretch or a tear.
In Joakim Noah’s case there are many ligaments around the ankle that could have been injured, however, it was most likely the lateral (outside) ankle ligaments and/or the syndesmotic ligament (high ankle sprain).
Regardless, I know this injury is going to take a while to get better. While Bulls staff members keep telling the media that whether or not Joakim Noah will play will be a “game time decision,” his chances of playing in the foreseeable future do not seem likely. He is still limping with a walking boot on his foot and ankle.
I have had an opportunity to get to know Joakim a little bit, and I will say that he is a very tough guy. As most Bulls fans may already know, Joakim will do anything possible to get himself ready to get back on the court and help his teammates win. I have also found him to be a very nice and thoughtful person. Once when I saw him, my nine-year-old son was with me and Joakim couldn’t have been nicer to him. My son still talks about it to this day.
You can be sure that under the direction of the Bulls’ head trainer Fred Tedeschi, Joakim is getting around-the-clock care to try and get him ready to play as soon as possible.
So, here’s hoping that Joakim can make a quick recovery to what appears to be a very tough injury and help propel the Bulls further in the playoffs. If it doesn’t turn out to happen this year, Joakim will certainly be ready to help the Bulls achieve their goal of an NBA Championship in 2012-2013.