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Nerlens Doodle of the Night wants an interesting theory on his injury

After Nerlens’ injury last week, I think all of us thought back to the times earlier this season he had fallen and his toothpick thin legs as ominous warning signs. The Courier-Journal’s Adam Himmelsbach did some digging into Nerlens’ high school knee injury, which may have more to do with his ACL injury than we previously thought:

Five games into his sophomore season at Everett (Mass.) High, Noel fractured a growth plate in his left knee and missed the rest of the year. John DiBiaso, his former coach, said in a phone interview that doctors told Noel to rest the knee through the summer. But, DiBiaso said, Noel started playing with his travel team in March at the urging of his advisors.

Dr. Robin West, an orthopedic surgeon on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ medical staff, said complications from growth plate injuries, such as deformity or malalignment, become more likely if an injury is not given proper time to heal. Those problems, sometimes so subtle that the patient does not even know they exist, can be foreboding.

“If the leg healed awkwardly and (Noel) had a malalignment in that knee,” Dr. West said, “that could predispose him to future injuries in that leg.

Himmelsbach cites another doctor who says that Nerlens’ growth plate fracture could affect how doctors perform his ACL surgery since the patella tendon used to repair it may have been weakened by the previous injury.

Or, you know, he just ran into that post at an awkward angle. Regardless, get well Big Fella.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

22 Comments for Nerlens Doodle of the Night wants an interesting theory on his injury



  1. First
    6:47 pm February 18, 2013 Permalink

    He will heal.



  2. Boston
    6:57 pm February 18, 2013 Permalink

    6-8 months to heal/rehab after the surgery. That is the Oct-Nov time frame. A couple of months to get back up to basketball speed. He should be back about Jan time farme.



  3. BravoBigBlue
    7:01 pm February 18, 2013 Permalink

    Did you SEE the play that he injured his knee on? THAT is why he tore his ACL. Sheesh. Must be slow day at KSR.



  4. Will
    7:05 pm February 18, 2013 Permalink

    I agree with #3, He was going to hurt something landing the way he did. I think though, that not waiting enough to recover, especially from here on out, could really hurt his NBA money a couple of contracts down the road.



  5. UK2K
    7:09 pm February 18, 2013 Permalink

    Unprofessional journalism guessing like this,but again this is the CJ



  6. Cotton Mash
    7:11 pm February 18, 2013 Permalink

    #3 even slower at the C-J… remember this Himmeldinger guy was the one who
    ran down info about WCS injury and his HS days.



  7. CliffFrankLou
    7:16 pm February 18, 2013 Permalink

    Sure, float an implication of a cause and effect relationship with no substantiation. Is there any evidence of malalignment? Were subsequent x-rays of that knee completed to check alignment? Please do more homework. This is simply irresponsible. Also, note the physician is responding to purely hypothetical questions without having ever examined the athlete in question. Is there more of the interview with the physician or did you only extract that part out which is most supportive of your theory. You also failed to include the quote from the other orthopedist:“My guess is I don’t think there’s anything fundamentally wrong with (Noel),” Dr. Wanich said. “The growth plate injury is an overuse thing. I think the ACL was just a bad landing.”



  8. sadly
    7:18 pm February 18, 2013 Permalink

    Where can I find a podcast for today’s show?



  9. Ryan Harrows Flu Bug
    7:30 pm February 18, 2013 Permalink


  10. Shut up
    7:35 pm February 18, 2013 Permalink

    Another great article by Pete Thamel. Ohh nvm its Adam Himmelshmuck



  11. Syrin
    7:44 pm February 18, 2013 Permalink

    Great, another example of AAU f’tards screwing over kids for their own game. has anything ruined basketball more than AAU? No one learns basic skills any more in large part due to AAU. Greg Oden is the other high profile player who was totally power f’d by AAU.



  12. RUPPS_rhetoric
    7:47 pm February 18, 2013 Permalink

    I actually don’t have a problem with this article. It is relevant. I agree that based in the way he landed it was pretty severe. However the approach to the surgery certainly is relevant. Obviously it’s in his medical records so it will be looked at when preparing for this surgery. Again I agree that it may be a stretch to say this may be the cause of the injury. But it certainly is important in regards to the pending surgery. I think we may want to back off the CJ just a bit.



  13. Dr. Adam Anti Agent
    7:51 pm February 18, 2013 Permalink

    I’m not a doctor or much of a writer but I play both for the CJ.



  14. ACL
    7:58 pm February 18, 2013 Permalink

    An ACL can reconstructed with a cadaver replacement. Why not do that to avoid the growth plate issue?



  15. Some Guy in Kentucky
    8:01 pm February 18, 2013 Permalink

    Coach Cal on his radio show tonight said that the “you are not coachable” quote was taken out of context. When he is trying to motivate the players in a game he says things that are not for a media press conference. Now that quote is being used by other teams in recruiting. So, Matt it is OK to put a filter on reporting things over heard during a UK game.



  16. Jim
    8:03 pm February 18, 2013 Permalink

    I think his knee has not been 100% for some time. Take a look back at the auburn game at home when Noel had his first block late in game he went to chase down loose ball and afterwords kinda lifted and flexed his knee like it was uncomfortable to him. Not saying he should not have been playing but it might not have taken as much to injure knee as it would have been if totally healthy.



  17. Bort
    9:20 pm February 18, 2013 Permalink

    Sounds like Sam Bowie circa 1982…. BTW, this brings up another topic: over-use injuries. The kids today, in my opinion, play too much competitive basketball. A generation ago, kids spent hours in the gym honing their jump-shots and fundamental skills. Today, this AAU-mentality is that you have to play 150 games per year in order to be the best. News flash: Nerlens Noel would be a great basketball player even if he didn’t pick up a basketball until age 17. It is ridiculous the number of ACL tears, Tommy John surgeries, stress fractures and other over-use injuries kids are getting in the various sports. Take Steven Strasburg with the Nationals. Tommy John surgery at age 22. Sorry, had to rant…



  18. CliffFrankLou
    10:24 pm February 18, 2013 Permalink

    15, cadaver grafts have a higher failure rate. Using your own tissues is preferred in almost all cases. You are confusing two issues here. The growth plate is no longer a factor in surgical selection after about age 16-17, after the growth spurt.



  19. andrew
    10:46 pm February 18, 2013 Permalink

    did you see the injury??? Anyone is tearing their ACL in that situation – previous problems or not.



  20. Jaybird
    11:10 pm February 18, 2013 Permalink

    The CJ piece is bad enough, but you take it a step further by omitting the part about him being cleared by the Celtics’ team physician. This is all a big load and he deserves better than to have crap like this put out there. What does the Steelers’ team doctor have anything to do with the situation? He wasn’t involved in his care in high school, nor is he now. For him to say anything other than “I really can’t comment because I haven’t evaluated him” is very irresponsible for a physician. Come on people!



  21. Ukbradstith
    11:44 pm February 18, 2013 Permalink

    The guy is just putting out a theory. No where in the article does it say this is fact. It’s not irresponsible at all. And he didn’t land that awkward, what are you guys talking about? Players land like that all the time.



  22. UKBlue
    2:59 am February 19, 2013 Permalink

    Do you people not know how to read, it didn’t say it caused the ACL injury, but it could have been an underlying factor & could have possibly weakened the knee making it vulnerably to injury now & in the future. You don’t mess around with growth plate issues in a kid so young & talented; either way, rushing back from an injury involving a young kids knee with the future prospect as Noel, is always a stupid idea.

    This is another reason why Noel has to have Dr. Andrews do his surgery; side note, Dr. West used to be part of Dr. Andrews practice before we went to Boston. Noel has obviously received questionable info from people with their own agendas.