Saturday, November 21, 2009
The Washington Redskins Jason Campbell, The New York Jets Mark Sanchez (although his injury occurred his senior year at USC), The Los Angeles Lakers Andrew Bynum and The Arizona Diamondbacks Chad Qualls--fortunate all to be professional athletes. All of whom not so fortunate to share another experience with Our Washington Nationals Stephen Strasburg.
A Dislocated Kneecap.
The moving, or sliding, of the triangle shaped bone covering the knee (patella) out of place. This injury occurs frequently in sports when an athlete makes a sharp turn or move on the field of play in an opposite direction. If no bone is broken or cartilage damaged--no surgery is required. Immobilization for three to six weeks in a brace follows, which allows the body to mend naturally. Physical Therapy after that.
That is the diagnosis for Stephen Strasburg announced yesterday by Our Washington Nationals.
The same treatment received by Campbell, Sanchez and Bynum for their dislocated kneecaps. All three followed a similar course back to recovery now recommended to Strasburg. Today, all three of those players are fully healthy and back playing, and starting, for their respective teams. Qualls' injury, on the other hand, was more serious and required surgery. The Snakes Closer took a line drive off his left knee in an August 31st game. Test showed ligaments were damaged. Three to four months recovery required to get back into the game--after being placed on the operating table.
What is unclear is whether Chad Qualls will be 100% ready come Spring Training--2010? Qualls needs to heal, rebuild his strength, flexibility--and his confidence that he can pitch again without pain. Heavy therapy with the mind games thrown-in. Worry that Strasburg has dodged for now.
No injury is ever good, but as Our General Manager Mike Rizzo stated last night: "It was the best result that we could have hoped for," when Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles gave Washington his expert opinion on Strasburg's dislocated knee.
Rizzo's comment was right on target, because ligament damage would have been far, far worse. If surgery had been the case, everyone would begin wondering whether Stephen Strasburg's surgically repaired left kneecap would affect his plant foot, his delivery and, ultimately, his 100 MPH Fastball?
No one wanted to see that. Especially any injury that might change his pitching mechanics--and hinder some of that God-Given special talent Stephen naturally possesses.
Just look at the history of Hall Of Fame Pitcher Dizzy Dean and how a freak injury turned his career around--for the worse.
You never want to minimize any damage. And you never want to take chances with top talent.
Yes, Stephen Strasburg and Our Washington Nationals received some fortunate news yesterday. But everyone is still going to have to proceed slowly and watch Strasburg closely. Remember, to this day, Mark Sanchez stills wears a protective brace on his right kneecap--as a precaution.
Strasburg Photo Credit--Getty Images