Doctors Say Lockout Behind Rise in NFL Injuries

New York Post—August 14, 2011

If you happen to be an Achilles tendon on an NFL player, it just hasn’t been your month.

Those often-overlooked thickets of muscle and fiber behind the ankle have been popping like champagne corks at a society wedding since the end of the lockout, with a stunning 10 players already seeing their season ruined before the first exhibition game by an injury experts say is nowhere near this common in a normal league year.

Considering the labor stoppage kept players away from their teams - and team doctors and team athletic trainers and multi-million-dollar team weight rooms - for five months, this rash of injuries overall, and Achilles tears in particular, seems predictable to those in the know.

Achilles ruptures are kind of a classic ‘weekend warrior’ injury, and I can imagine that’s what the lockout turned many of these players into,” said Dr. Andrew Pearle, an orthopedic surgeon at Manhattan’s Hospital for Special Surgery and a former member of the Giants’ medical team.

“[Tearing of the Achilles] is an injury particularly common with the rapid resumption of ‘explosive’ activities [such as cutting and jumping] after a relatively sedentary lifestyle,” Pearle said.

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