Steph Curry – Foot or Ankle Sprain?

The two-time MVP suffered an early right foot/ankle injury in last night’s win against New Orleans. Coach Steve Kerr has reported that Curry will likely be “fine” for Game 1 of the playoffs (NBA, ESPN).

Steph Curry played nine minutes into last night’s game before the injury forced him to exit for “precautionary reasons”. Curry sustained the injury as he brought the ball up from the backcourt and attempted to change direction (see video below). As he landed, he rolled over the top of his foot and fell to the ground. He was able to get up and shoot a mid-range jump shot before leaving for the locker rooms. He reportedly appeared in good spirits after the game and showed no signs of limping after leaving the arena.

The Warriors initially reported that Curry had suffered a “mild right foot sprain” but coach Kerr called it a “sprained ankle” after the game. While both conditions have similar mechanisms of injury, given the former Davidson standout’s history of lateral ankle sprains, it appears more likely to be the latter option. Kyle Kuzma was the latest high-profile star to suffer a mild non-contact lateral ankle sprain back in March – he missed just over a week with his injury and at the time it appeared more serious than Steph’s current issue (check out that previous post on Instagram for more information on Kuzma’s injury).

Looking at the two possible injuries, if Curry has tweaked his ankle it’s likely he has only mildly sprained his ATFL which is typically the first ligament to injure during a lateral ankle sprain (LAS).

A foot sprain usually occurs near the midfoot bones and usually implicates the dorsal calcaneocuboid ligament or the bifurcate ligament. In both cases, judging from Curry’s reaction, either injury would be a Grade 1 injury at worst which is defined as a mild stretching of the ligaments with no presence of joint instability or macroscopic rupture.

After 82 regular season games, players often enter the NBA Playoffs with increased fatigue and are nursing minor injuries. Looking at all this information from the Warriors, available reports and the video footage, we can expect Steph to be ready for the Playoffs.

Sources:
1. Brukner & Khan, 2017. Clinical Sports Medicine 5th ed
2. Harvard Health Publishing, 2016. Foot Sprain
3. Niek van Dijk & Vuurberg, 2016. ‘There is no such thing as a simple ankle sprain: clinical commentary on the 2016 International Ankle Consortium position statement.’ BJSM

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