Four-to-six weeks was the initial diagnosis for Brandon Jennings after breaking his fifth metatarsal in his left foot. Non-scientifically, that means the smallest toe on his left foot. But that may have been a bit of a stretch.
Jennings isn’t the first player to suffer such an injury. In recent years, Chris Paul, Andray Blatche and Martell Webster are just a few players who’ve suffered the same injury, though each on the right foot. Each of these players dealt with a longer time table on their return than Jennings targeted four-to-six weeks. Six-to-eight weeks was the prognosis for Paul in 2007 and Webster last season.
And surely you’ll remember Marquette guard Dominic James returning to play just a month after the same injury was supposed to end his career at Marquette in 2009. He played for Marquette in their second round game against Missouri and was memorably hesitant and hampered.
Blatche, a six-foot-eleven inch power player missed three months over the summer after injuring himself working out. He’s much larger than the rest of the players mentioned though and with this type of injury, weight plays a role.
In the Webster article from Dime Magazine, they speak with a surgeon on rehabbing the foot.
“Once it’s fully healed, you should slowly ramp up your weight bearing activities,” says Dr. Sampson. Also, you usually would have to rehab the soft tissue attachments around the bone with aggressive therapy because they were not in use.”
He left out “enter a dunk contest” as a method of rebuilding strength. In all honesty, Jennings, even if he ends up missing six-to-eight weeks instead of four-to-six, should be healed by the time the contest rolls around. Whether or not it’s particularly wise for someone who’s suffered this injury to enter a dunk contest remains to be seen. But Paul and Webster have had no recurrences of their injuries despite both having had a screw inserted as Jennings has.
Jennings recently said that he won’t be participating if he’s not healed 100% though, words every Bucks fan both wanted to hear and dreaded hearing. It’s good he’ll be smart about his health, but bad that come Feburary 19th, it’s possible he could still not be 100%.
As for when Jennings will be back? He’s been traveling with the team and reportedly shot around some in Philadelphia. Tom Enlund of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported today that he’s targeting the Bucks trip to L.A. to play the Clippers on the 31st as a game he’d like to play in. Jennings would have been out just over five weeks at that point.
I’m a bit skeptical … but when it comes to the Bucks, what else is new?
Jeremy Schmidt writes the Milwaukee Bucks blog Bucksketball.com. Follow him on Twitter. Then become a fan on Facebook (in the sidebar).