Spring football is underway in Piscataway, NJ.
With the start of the 2023 season comes lingering questions about key injuries from last season. Below I will go into a few injuries that occurred last season and try to cover the following: 1) the type of injury and expected timeline and 2) how it might impact the player’s 2023 season
(This will be the format for weekly updates moving forward into the season).
1) ACL Tear
The Scarlet Knights’ leading edge rusher suffered a complete ACL tear in the preseason of last year. With an ACL tear and subsequent reconstruction surgery, return to sport depends on a multitude of factors. Type of graft/location, other injuries, rehab approach, etc. Seeing as his injury happened early in the pre-season, I imagine the training staff and medical team chose a more conservative approach (9-12 months) compared to an accelerated approach (6 months). Greg Schiano reported he’s not 100% recovered, but a full participant in practice. That checks out given the normal recovery timeline from this type of injury/surgery. Toure had to surpass certain testing/criteria to get to this point so his knee has to be feeling pretty good. Give him another month or two, and I expect him to look like his old self.
The bad news: research shows that athletes with prior ACL tears have challenges moving forward. Not only are they more likely to suffer an injury to the involved leg, but they are at increased risk of tearing the contralateral ACL as well. On top of risk for re-injury, Toure might not have the same level of explosiveness and agility that we saw in his previous seasons. That being said, Mohamed Toure at 90% his previous self is a major boost for a defense that saw a lot of attrition this offseason.
The good news: Toure had as much time as you’d like for recovery, meaning risk of re-injury is lower. Moreover, he has a top notch medical team overseeing his recovery. Why do I mention that? Because all the participants in studies on ACL tear recovery did not.
Everything I said for Mohamed Toure with some things to keep in mind:
Everyone is different, every injury is different, and every recovery process is different
He was injured about 3 months prior to Mohamed Toure meaning he should be ahead in the process
His position relies more on quick, cutting movements which will test his knee a bit more
All in all, we’ve never seen him play in a Rutgers uniform yet so it’s hard to create expectations.
Samuel Brown V:
1) "Foot Injury"
Sam Brown’s 2022 season came to a sudden halt that left fans, coaches, and even Sam Brown himself, a little surprised. What originally sounded like a minor foot injury that would only sideline him for a bit, turned into a season ending injury. And based on what Greg Schiano said to the press after the first day of spring practice, he’s still a non-participant 5 months later. So what on earth happened and why is shrouded in mystery? Here’s a few injuries I think he could be dealing:
LisFranc Injury (6-8 months)
Grade III Turf Toe (2-6 months)
Jones Fracture (2-3 months)
The answer to this is a big "it depends", the two most common words I heard in physical therapy school. Luckily, the sophomore has plenty of time to get ready for the season and has a lot of company at the running back position that can pick up the load during spring training.
Given the updates Greg Schiano gave in his most recent press conference, I’d say there is more to be excited about than worried about as we head into the 2023 season (from an injury perspective at least). Will that hold true? It depends.