On Saturday night, the Portland Trail blazers won their seventh consecutive home game and improved to 15-14, defeating the Philadelphia 76ers 89-85. But with a little more than 9 minutes left in the game, Center Meyers Leonard leaped for a rebound and when he landed, rolled his ankle and crumpled to the ground in pain. He lay on the court for a few minutes, clutching his leg in pain before being helped into the locker room by teammate Jared Jeffries.
Fortunately, post-game x-rays were negative for a fracture and it appears that Leonard suffered an ankle sprain. “It’s a pretty straight-forward sprain,’’ Blazers athletic trainer Jay Jensen said. “We think he will be fine.’’
Prior to his injury, Leonard scored four points on 2-of-3 shooting from the field with four rebounds and one block. The 7’1″ center is averaging 4.8 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.
Jensen said the best-case scenario would have Leonard’s earliest return at Memphis on Friday. It is probably more likely that Leonard misses the entire road trip, after which he will be re-evaluated before the Jan. 7 home game against Orlando.
His injury will likely translate into more playing time for rookie Joel Freeland and veteran Jared Jeffries.
An ankle sprain is not to be taken lightly
An ankle sprain occurs when your foot lands with your weight on the outside edge of your foot. This shifts your foot sideways, which bends or rolls your ankle beyond its capacity to do so. This stretches or tears the ligaments surrounding the ankle and the surrounding tissue usually begins to swell immediately. If you believe you’ve sprained your ankle, rest, ice, and elevate the injured leg and make an appointment to see your podiatrist as soon as possible to check for any torn ligaments.
From the description of the event, Leonard’s ankle sprain must have been very painful, with some reporting that at first it appeared he had broken his leg or ankle. An ankle sprain is definitely less serious than a fracture, especially for an athlete, but it’s not to be taken lightly. If treated immediately and properly, the ankle should heal to its pre-injury condition. If not attended to, an improperly healed ankle sprain can be an ongoing source of problems, especially as one ages, where the ankle will be more prone to developing arthritis.
The severity of your sprained ankle can only be determined by your podiatrist and treatment may consist of anything from simple resting and icing to immobilization and physical therapy.