The Texans recently lost rookie center Nick Martin to a high ankle sprain, which could potentially keep him out for some unknown amount of regular season games. While specifics have not yet been given about the severity of injury, there is reason for concern over when Martin might be able to return to the field. For those of us who don’t have an intricate knowledge of various muscles and bones of the lower leg, the Houston Chronicle's Aaron Wilson interviewed Dr. Ken Jung, a foot and ankle surgeon, and Dr. Luga Podesta who is the Director of Sports Medicine at St. Charles Orthopedics in New York. Both answered questions regarding what exactly a high ankle strain is and what the usual treatments and recovery times are.
"It refers to a complex of ligaments, called the syndesmosis, that are located higher on the ankle than ligaments that are most commonly sprained with twisting injuries of the ankle," Jung said. "These ligaments stabilize the bones of the lower leg, tibia and fibula."
What’s really important about this is the effect on the bones of the lower leg. The entire issue of whether or not Martin will need surgery will depend on how much danger those bones are in, according to the doctors.
"As these ligaments stabilize the tibia and fibula, surgery would be indicated if the bones are determined to be unstable," Jung said.
Now time for the really bad news. This was the response to Wilson's question about the chances of Martin's high ankle sprain being a season-ending injury:
"If surgery is performed, it would be expected to be a season-ending injury," Jung said.
Well, so long Nick Martin’s rookie year. All kidding aside, what's the timetable for injuries like this that require surgery and rehab?
"Several months of rehab are typical to treat this injury conservatively."
Of course, there are some caveats here. Nobody from the Texans' camp has indicated that Martin will require surgery, and as discussed here previously, the non-surgery recovery time could keep Martin out for around half of the 2016 season. For what it's worth, Bill O'Brien said there was nothing new to report about Martin today.
BOB said he had no update on Nick Martin. #Texans— Alex Del Barrio (@alexdelbarrio) August 24, 2016
So all that’s left to do now is wait to learn what severity of strain Martin has and pray that it doesn’t require surgery. Until then, all Nick Martin can do is rest and let his bones recover. Maybe he’ll have a pint or three of milk. After all...
Weird glimpse into the advertising of my childhood aside, what say you about this, BRB? Should we already be out in the streets buying Tony Bergstrom jerseys? Or should Rick Smith be feverishly trying to reach Bryan Stork's agent after the Patriots decided to cut ties with their young starting center today? Let us know in the comments below.
UPDATE: Hold off on those dreams of the team bringing Stork in.
UPDATE II: Stork wouldn't be an option for the Texans anyway, as he was traded to Washington instead of released outright.
UPDATE III: It is sadly official now. Nick Martin will miss the 2016 season after having surgery last night.
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