Russell Westbrook Could Miss Time with Severe Ankle Sprain

November 6, 2018 | insideinjuries | No Comments

Russell Westbrook started the 2018-19 season a few days late as he recovered from right knee surgery. Inside Injuries warned that Westbrook would be a High Injury Risk for the first month or so after he returned, with our main concern being his knee. While his knee seems to be holding up, the concern has now shifted to Westbrook’s left ankle. Westbrook went up for a rebound against Anthony Davis on Monday and twisted his ankle badly when he came down. He suffered a severe inversion of the left ankle and stayed down in pain, slapping the floor next to him in frustration. He eventually limped off the court and into the locker room with the help of trainers.

Initial X-rays revealed that Westbrook did not suffer a fracture, but an MRI on Tuesday will determine the severity of the ligament damage. After reviewing the footage, Inside Injuries is projecting a grade 2 or 3 ankle sprain, which includes partial tears to the ankle ligaments. If Westbrook is dealing with a grade 3 sprain, or severe tears to the ligaments in his left ankle, it’s possible that he will require surgery. Surgery would require a minimum 10 week Optimal Recovery Time, and rest and rehab would likely keep him out around 8 weeks. If the ankle sprain is grade 2, or a moderate sprain (slight ligament tear), then Westbrook is unlikely to need surgery. The Optimal Recovery Time for a grade 2 sprain is 4-6 weeks.

Another important thing to consider is that Westbrook missed time last year to a left ankle sprain. Each time a player sustains an ankle sprain, the ligaments in the ankle are stretched, leaving the player more susceptible to a future injury (think Steph Curry). An ankle injury like this is a devastating blow to a player as dynamic as Westbrook. He relies heavily on his agility and athleticism, which makes it even more imperative that he wait until he’s 100% to return to action.