Making sense out of Gordon Hayward’s injury

GOOD day, all!

Not sure if you all saw it but NBA player Gordon Hayward suffered a nasty looking injury—a fractured tibia—a few days ago. Depending on what side of the fence you’re on, the injury is either a piss or a miracle. That has got to suck for the Boston Celtics management though as its player, worth around $128 million over four years, will have to sit out the season after getting injured in the first game of the season. This injury was perhaps as sensational as the Paul George injury a few years back.

How did this happen? Colleague Julio Veloso, strength and conditioning coach and owner of Movement Performance MNL, offered the most sensible explanation after watching the video repeatedly. He thinks the injury was a confluence of three factors:

1. Someone undercut him a little, but not enough to merit a foul, as he was going up for an alley hoop pass.

2. Lebron hit him just enough to turn his body in a clockwise direction, making the slight undercut a lot worse.

3. The rotation of his body wasn’t enough to just slam him sideways on the court. Hayward instinctively was able to put his foot down but the rotational force was enough to dislocate his ankle.

Coach Julio also notes that because of the amount of grip on the shoes and on the court, if one of them wasn’t as grippy, his foot could’ve just slipped. But instead the amount of friction of the shoe on the court surface also contributed to the injury. But unlike injuries to ligaments and tendons, bone injuries heal faster.

Are injuries preventable?

You can train as smart as you can, take care of yourself and eat right but fluke injuries like these can happen. There have been talks that the injury was caused by Gordon wearing low-cut shoes but in athletic training research, there is no evidence to prove that high-cut shoes are better than low-cut shoes.

Like Paul George, Gordon Hayward can return to full or even stronger than full strength with a properly designed return to play program. From what we’ve seen thus far, injuries like these aren’t career threatening, but they could look sensational.
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