Beckham: Down But Not Out

In my recent entries, I talked about soccer injuries. Overall soccer is a relatively safe sport that is a great activity for children and adults.

Injuries do happen, even to the best of them. Perhaps the most famous current soccer star, David Beckham of England, withdrew from World Cup play because of two injuries.

Based on reports I have read, neither injury seems career threatening but they did sideline him nonetheless. Like most higher level or pro athletes, he had almost instant MRI scans of both injured areas and was told that he will need approximately 6 weeks to recover. No surgery planned at this point. Overall good news for him, but not so good news for England and their fans. That is the nature of high level sports, or should I say sports medicine.

It appears that he strained his Achilles tendon (behind the ankle area). A strain is a partial tear. I suspect it was relatively minor because he was still able to run on it and play- until he twisted his knee. Also, if he had completely torn his Achilles, that would have guarranteed him a trip to the OR for surgery with a long recovery of 6 to 9 months.

His knee injury was a sprain -- they did not specify but I suspect it was a sprain or mild stretch (i.e. partial tear) of his MCL (medial collateral ligament) which can be treated with rest and some physical therapy. The MRI would have ruled out surgical problems like a torn cartilage (i.e. torn meniscus) or torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament).

They say he will be getting more repeat MRIs soon -- I'm not sure what they will add to the picture since he just had MRIs (unless the quality of the scans is not ideal- MRIs do vary from one machine to another and occasionally they can be sub-optimal). But that's sometimes what high level athletes do- lots of opinions and often lots of MRIs.

So my prediction is for a speedy and full recovery. He will be feeling the pains of England's loss much longer than his injuries!

Are you a Beckham fan? Help me wish him a rapid recovery.