Things have been rough for the Denver Nuggets so far this year, but General Manager Tim Connelly is hopeful for the next season. In an interview with The Press Box, Connelly said that this season’s challenges gave him a better idea of his players’ strengths and weaknesses and how to better manage the Nuggets’ roster in the future. The Nuggets nonetheless put up a good show, given that they lost good players to injuries sustained before and during the current season:
“The Nuggets entered the season without Danilo Gallinari, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in April of 2013. Then they lost starting center JaVale McGee after only five games into the season because of a stress fracture in his left leg. Throw in injuries to starting point guard and leading scorer Ty Lawson, torn ACLs for forward J.J. Hickson and backup guard Nate Robinson, a hip injury to Darrell Arthur and a hyperextended knee to Wilson Chandler and the Nuggets finished with a depleted roster and a 36-46 season to show for it.”
These athletic injuries aren’t exactly surprising as far Denver sports medicine centers like Steadman Hawkins Clinic-Denver are concerned. In particular, basketball players often face risks like sprains and fractures in the lower extremities. In fact, ankle or foot injuries account for about 38 percent of all injuries sustained in this sport. According to a study conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy in 2013, ankle sprains are also the second most common sports injury in U.S. high-schools, and are 47 percent more likely to occur in practice than in an actual game.
Even worse, ankle or foot injuries are notoriously difficult to treat. Numerous tests are needed to assess the damage caused. A simple ankle sprain can be treated with the help of rest, ice, compression, and elevation (a.k.a. RICE), but a serious fracture may require surgery. Such sports injuries are also difficult to prevent given that athletes’ legs are doing the bulk of the work, whether in practice or in a real game, and partly because pain encountered in the legs is usually brushed off as “normal”.
To keep players in top shape, coaches and team managers would do well to work closely with practitioners of orthopedics in Denver. What starts out as a seemingly minor discomfort doesn’t need to escalate into a torn anterior cruciate ligament that could incapacitate a star player.
(Source: Nuggets GM Tim Connelly talks draft, injuries and more, The Denver Post, May 27, 2014)