Bad Luck?

The Colts have released confusing statements in regarding Andrew Luck’s leg injury
By Ben Wobker, PT, MSPT, CSCS, SFMAc
Bad Luck?

On the Mend?

Stanford alum Andrew Luck has missed nearly all of the Indianapolis Colts’ training camp practices this summer with what has been described as a “calf injury” suffered while working out in April. Luck also sat out the team’s organized team activities (OTAs) in May because of the injury. If you are doing the math, yes this is a long time and Luck is now in a position where 12 weeks of active rest begins to create questions amongst the media, fans, and coaches.

No one involved with the team seemed all that worried, with Luck saying last month that he simply was being honest with the team and Coach Frank Reich saying that Luck would have been able to play had the regular season been upon them.

The spectacle that was Kevin Durant’s torn Achilles — suffered after a hasty return from a calf injury in the NBA Finals — was on everyone’s mind not only in the Colts organization but also all coaches, GMs, and agents. 

What Will the 2019 Season Bring?

Luck coming off a comeback player of the year award was looking like a possible Superbowl pick and Las Vegas odds makers were thinking very highly of the Colt’s outlook this season. At this point in his career missing OTAs and some mini-camp is likely ok as this seasoned veteran knows Frank Reich’s playbook very well, but that being said the timing with 1st and 2nd year linemen and receivers is very valuable.

Fantasy Implications:

Should you draft Andrew Luck? Most fantasy leagues due to uncertainty have Luck going in the 4th round of most drafts. His upside is obviously very high last year with 4,600 yards passing and 39 touch downs. He also has a great support staff around him after the team made a conscious effort to protect Luck after his 2016 shoulder injury. For that reason he was able to have time to read defenses, check down when necessary, and also has doubled his efforts to protect himself by sliding and running out of bounds. Earlier in his career he left himself open to injury by fighting for every yard and even trying to be the first to tackle on a turn-over.

andrew-luckLuck during an offseason practice

Owner’s Comments Don’t Offer Clarity:

“I know everyone’s having their questions about Andrew, and that sort of thing, but I really feel very confident that he’s going to find his way through this thing,” Colts owner Jim Irsay said this past week on SiriusXM. “After the Durant thing and everything, everyone’s erring on the side of caution, but quite frankly, this is not even in the Achilles’ tendon. This is in another area, it’s a bone — I’m not good at these things — it’s a small little bone, and [former Colts player] Ryan Diem had it, and Raheem Brock had it, the trainers told me. And he’s doing very well, very excited, he’s a married man, baby on the way, and he couldn’t be more excited for the season.”

If this situation seems familiar, it’s because the Colts seem to be following the same confusing playbook they used during Luck’s shoulder injury a few years ago. Irsay originally said late in 2016 that Luck would not need surgery to repair the torn labrum in his shoulder, an injury that had been plaguing him for more than a year, but he underwent the procedure in January 2017. Still, the team owner said then that Luck would be ready for the 2017 season, a prediction he repeated that summer. Then, as the team gathered for training camp and Luck continued to sit on the sideline, Irsay changed his prediction to early in the 2017 season. That obviously didn’t happen either.

Luck sat out the entire 2017 season while rehabbing his shoulder, a journey that took him to Amsterdam to work with a physical therapist. He returned in 2018 and played in all 16 games, posting a career-high QBR, helping lead the Colts to the playoffs for the first time since 2014 and even winning a postseason game. 

Related Injuries:

Some quick research on Brock and Diem’s injury’s reveal that they suffered appears to be a “high ankle sprains”. What a high ankle sprain typically involves is disruption of the syndesmotic joint between the tibia and fibula. This is a very slow healing injury depending on how it is graded out (Grade 1- Grade 5). Typically this involves a walking boot and even crutches. At this point there are no media reports of boots and crutches being seen at practice. Needless to say Luck is getting a full dose of physical therapy from the team staff likely 2-3x a day to get him ready for the season opener just weeks away.

Other Athlete Injury Articles:

Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams running back has been haunted by injuries and rumors.
Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors star suffers career setback with achilles tear.

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