USA Today's For the Win, "What's wrong with Steph Curry's leg, according to a medical expert"
By Nina Mandell
Steph Curry said on Tuesday that the Warriors training staff told him to expect it would take four weeks for his left shin contusion to heal — time he wasn’t going to take sitting on the bench. “I’m not going to sit out four weeks, so just got to figure out how to protect it while I’m out on the floor and keep playing,” he said (via ESPN). “We’ve done a good amount and just had a couple unlucky plays, and we’ll keep addressing it.”
So what’s exactly wrong with him? We spoke to Dr. Brion Gardner, an orthopedic surgeon at The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics for some answers.
WHAT IS A LEFT SHIN CONTUSION?
It’s a “bruise of the muscles around the shin and in the most severe form can be a deep bone bruise,” said Gardner. “Which seems like what he may have. He had a direct blow to his shin and had some bruising on the lining around the bone.” It’s hard to say how severe the injury is without looking at it, but according to Gardner a left shin contusion “basically is just a fancy way of saying he was kicked in his shin” and suffered some bruising.
WHAT’S THE WORST CASE SCENARIO?
“In the worst case scenario a deep bone bruise in the shin is one level before a stress fracture and what makes it bad is it takes it a long time to heal,” Gardner said. “It generally doesn’t require surgery but it can be a prolonged period of time to heal. And again the worst case scenario is it can take several months to heal and the treatment is rest and avoiding impact activity which is difficult, if not impossible, in the middle of the basketball season.” That time frame for healing, of course, can be prolonged if Curry keeps playing on the worst-case scenario.
AND IF IT’S JUST A MINOR OR MODERATE BRUISE?
“It should heal faster,” said Gardner. “I think if it’s he got kicked in the shin and not a deep bone bruise that would show up on an MRI … the four-week time frame is a realistic expectation that with four weeks of rest and/or physical therapy then it should heal up.”
SO IS IT A BAD IDEA FOR HIM TO KEEP PLAYING?
Not really, said Gardner. “It’s really the amount of pain hes experiencing will determine [if he can play]. If he’s having pain but he’s willing to play, I don’t think anyone would have a problem with him playing.” Curry, it should be noted, has left games in pain when it comes in hard contact with another player on the court — for example, when he hit his shin on Roy Hibbert’s leg against the Lakers.