Docs say it’s possible Freeney could play

New York Post—February 4, 2010

Dwight Freeney remains questionable for the Super Bowl, and it’s clear that what happens between now and Sunday will play a large part in whether the Colts defensive end makes it onto the field — and what he’ll be able to do if he gets there.

“For the normal person, it would be impossible to think you could play with something like this,” Dr. Josh Dines of Hospital for Special Surgery’s Sports Medicine Department said of Freeney’s Grade III right ankle sprain and torn ligament suffered against the Jets in the AFC Championship game.

“But someone like Freeney is different,” Dines said of the five-time Pro Bowler. “These guys are built differently, and he’s got access to the best therapy around the clock.”

In addition to old-fashioned ice and stretching, players use things like hyperbaric chambers, which deliver pure oxygen to an area to promote blood flow. Freeney has been using one since arriving in South Florida last week.

Electrical stimulation and ultrasound often are used to further speed the healing process. And Dines didn’t rule out the possibility Freeney could have a platelet rich plasma (PRP) injection, which involves using the platelets from a player’s own blood.

Of course, no one knows how effective Freeney would be if he does play.

For a pass rusher like Freeney, limited strength in the ankle could render him relatively useless.

“It’s going to affect how he pushes off,” Dines said. “There’s no way it can’t after this amount of time, even if he is feeling good. But no one will really be sure how he’ll be able to perform until he sees how he feels that day.”

Read the full story at nypost.com.

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