According to ESPNChicago.com’s Nick Friedell: “Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose revealed after practice Tuesday that he has been dealing with turf toe in his left big toe since last season. Rose believes the injury happened some time during last season’s playoff series against the Cleveland Cavaliers.”
Derrick isn’t expected to miss any time. Thankfully.
Said Rose: “I don’t even know how you get turf toe. I just know that my big toe hurts, and [the Bulls medical staff] said it was turf toe. … You can’t bend your toe at all. I thought it was jammed, but talking to the trainers, it was turf toe. … It’s there forever now. My left big toe, it’s there forever now so that’s going to be an injury I’m going to have for a long time.”
Eh, it shouldn’t last forever. Assuming Rose receives treatment.
According to WebMD: “Turf toe is a sprain to the ligaments around the big toe joint, which works primarily as a hinge to permit up and down motion. Just behind the big toe joint in the ball of your foot are two pea-shaped bones embedded in the tendon that moves your big toe. Called sesamoids, these bones work like a pulley for the tendon and provide leverage when you walk or run. They also absorb the weight that presses on the ball of the foot.”
Additionally, eMedicine lists the following possible complications: “Joint stiffness or persistent pain, especially with running, is the most common complication. Loss of push-off strength, hallux rigidus, traumatic bunion deformity, cock-up deformity, arthrofibrosis, and loose joint bodies also may occur.”
Obviously, the “loss of push-off strength” concerns me the most, since that’s a key element of Derrick’s game.
According to both eMedicine and WebMD, turf toe is usually treated with rest and rehab (icing, foot elevation, anti-inflammatory medicine and range-of-motion exercises). Rose won’t be getting much rest, but I assume his rehab will be consistent and extensive. Furthermore, athletes usually need to tape the toe and use customized footwear. In a worst-case scenario, surgery may be required.
And permenant damage — increased pain, limping, etc. — can result from improper treatment.
Honestly, I’m not sure how concerned to be about this injury. I had turf toe a year or so back. I took a month off, rehabbed and I’ve been symptom free ever since. Rose isn’t going to get a month off until next summer, which means his symptoms are likely to persist all season. How seriously will that affect his game?
I guess we’re going to find out.