Why Steph Curry Will Probably Be Back Sooner Rather Than Later

Photo Credit: KNBR

Photo Credit: KNBR

All of DubNation held their collective breath Monday for what probably seemed like an eternity. Awaiting the MRI results on Steph Curry’s knee injury, Warriors fans breathed a sigh of relief with the good news that there was no structural damage and it was just a Grade I MCL Sprain.

But now people want to know- How long will the rehab take? When will Steph be able to get back into the Warriors lineup to lead this team on their march to another NBA Championship?

GM Bob Myers told the media that there are no guarantees (and there aren’t when it comes to rehab because everyone’s different), but expects the timeline to be around 2 weeks. That’s based on typical expectations for a Grade I MCL sprain with a 2-3 week return to activity. It could be longer he said, but I actually think that it will be less than 2 weeks barring any unforeseen circumstances. Let me explain why.

Steph Curry Knee Injury

The Injury

With the replays and pictures of how awkwardly the reigning MVP fell Sunday afternoon at the Toyota Center, I’m sure many were shocked and surprised his injury was not more serious. I saw many a tweet from pundits and professionals alike predicting a more serious MCL sprain or even an ACL tear.

Upon further review of the footage, I noticed two things that helped minimize the stress to Curry’s knee when he fell:

1) His Right Foot Was Not Planted- It actually slipped, just like his left foot did, from the sweat that was on the floor.

2) He Has Good Hip Mobility– His right hip internally rotates when he slips, banging the inside of his right knee into the floor, right where the MCL is.

At first glance, it looks much worse. But because Steph’s hips are mobile, and his right foot is not stuck to the floor, he’s able to preserve the alignment between the right hip/knee/ankle, thus saving his knee.  If either one of those factors were not there, than we may be talking about something else.

The Diagnosis

An MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament) sprain is an injury to the ligament on the inside of the knee that connects the tibia to the femur. With these types of injuries, forces usually come from the outside causing what we call a valgus stress to the knee. This valgus stress causes gapping (or stretching) to the inside of the knee resulting in a sprain. With a sprain, there can be partial tearing (Gr. I) all the way up to a complete rupture (Gr. III) of the MCL. These injuries may result in swelling, pain, and tenderness along the inside of the knee where the ligament runs. Higher grade sprains are also associated with instability in the knee when tested manually by a clinician. Gr. I sprains do not show evidence of instability.

But wait? How can Steph have a Gr. I MCL Sprain (partial tear) if there was no structural damage on the MRI? Does he have a tear or doesn’t he?

As I mentioned earlier, it looks like Curry was saved from more serious injury by the way he fell. I actually did not see any valgus stress to the knee when you look at the slow motion replays. What may look like valgus, I believe, is just the way his knee was flexed as he was getting ready to plant that leg.

Without any visible valgus deviation or movement to his knee, Steph should only have sustained minimal, if any, stress to his MCL. He did, however, bang the inside of his knee quite hard into the floor. (You can see this if you watch the replay in real time). Swelling from that would be in the same area as his MCL.

So in the absence of any positive structural findings on the MRI, the diagnosis of a Gr. I MCL Sprain is basically made because he has swelling and tenderness on the inside of the knee in the area of the MCL. It could just as easily be a bad bruise though. There’s no way to really distinguish between the two, all you would see is swelling and pain on the inside of the knee.

Steph Curry Stretching

The Treatment

In the absence of any structural findings, meaning there is no instability in the knee, it’s just managing pain and swelling from here and getting Curry moving when he’s comfortable. Inflammation typically lasts from 48-72 hours after the initial injury, so they won’t know where exactly Curry will be until probably Tues/Wed. As he feels better and moves more, he should continue to improve.

With a top-notch medical staff that has already garnered recognition from Klay Thompson earlier this year for helping him through a back injury, and cutting-edge equipment at their disposal like the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill, I have no doubt they will get Steph back in action as soon as it’s safe to do so. I wouldn’t be surprised if Steph Curry starts feeling good towards the end of the week. That gives him a few more days to get his legs back under him before he’s released to return to full participation. So my estimate is he’ll probably feel ready to go at around 1.5 weeks (especially knowing that Steph wants to get back on the court with his guys). But as we’ve seen with these playoffs, it will be up to the medical staff and Kerr when he actually gets back on the court.

I’ve been really impressed with how the trainers and therapists have been able to keep guys like Bogut, Iguodala, and Livingston not just healthy, but playing at a very high level. #StrengthInNumbers to me applies to the whole organization. From the fans to the players, coaching staff to the medical team.  That’s why I’m hopeful that Steph will be back sooner rather than later. And that’s why I’m anticipating they’ll make a nice long run this post-season towards another NBA Title.


If Your Ankles Are Weak, Then Strengthen Your….Hips?


A few years ago Steph Curry was having problems with his ankles. Now the All-Star NBA MVP is having an amazing season having missed only 1 game. The secret? A training and injury prevention program that focuses on his….hips. That’s right, his hips.

A great ESPN article came out today to highlight the success Steph has had with this training program. Even though the problem lies all the way down the chain at his ankles, the hip plays a major role in controlling position of the lower body joints. If there is weakness up higher in the chain, the lower joints end up taking more stress. By working on stability at the core, Steph and his trainers have given him a much more stable foundation to move, change direction, accelerate, decelerate, and juke other players out of their shoes.

This is another reason why a good physical therapist, athletic trainer, or doctor doesn’t just focus on the injured area. Remember, the injury is where the athlete broke down, but the cause could be elsewhere. We see that all the time at our clinic. Someone that has plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains, knee tendinitis could have the root of their problem at the hips. So just massaging the injured area, applying ultrasound or ice, and exercising the painful body part will only produce temporary results.


For truly successful outcomes, you need to treat the whole person. Look at Steph. He was good before and treating his ankles allowed him to play and be an All-Star. Treat the whole person, and he’s the NBA MVP and on the verge of an NBA Championship.

ESPT Director Published In National PT Magazine

ESPT’s Director, Jacon C. Chun, MPT, SCS, ATC, CSCS, had an article published in the most recent issue of ADVANCE for Physical Therapy and Rehab Medicine. ADVANCE is a national publication for physical therapists highlighting new advances in technology, current trends in rehabilitation, and job openings available for PT’s and PT assistants.

“It was a pleasure working with the ADVANCE editorial staff,” says Jacon, the only Board Certified Sports Clinical Specialist in the East Bay. “They made it so easy to share clinical knowledge in their magazine. I hope other PT’s and the public will see how far PT has advanced (no pun intended).”

Physical therapy is no longer just about ultrasound, massage, exercise, and electrical stimulation. A good therapist is not just an “exercise technician” or the extension of an MD. True physical therapists can evaluate and treat any musculoskeletal disorder, using current evidence and theory to support their rationales.

“I get disappointed when I see people come in after receiving ‘physical therapy’ from other clinics,” says Jacon, “What they are getting is so archaic. The profession has come so far it’s sad some clinicians are holding us back.”

The article in ADVANCE highlights new technology that clinicians are using in rehabilitation, specifically an Anti-Gravity Treadmill that helps progressively load patients to help restore their lower extremity strength and normalize gait mechanics. Jacon hopes to bring the first one to the Fremont area later this year.

“Physical therapy in the 21st century is so much more. I hope that everyone gets the chance to experience what good clinicians with cutting-edge technology can do,” states Jacon.

If you want to experience the level of care that professional athletes receive, don’t hesitate to call ESPT for your appointment. With offices in Dublin (925.452.4656) and Fremont (510.656.3777), ESPT is looking forward to serving your rehabilitative needs.

You can read the complete article here

Physical Therapy Advice On YouTube

One of the most important things for any business owner, is the ability to communicate with their clients. Addressing their needs, is one very important way to ensure that you are being relevant and current.

In the near future, Elite Sports Physical Therapy (ESPT) will be posting videos on YouTube on numerous physical therapy and health/wellness topics. Be on the lookout at our channel at: www.youtube.com/user/EliteSportsPT. Subscribe and you’ll be notified when we post new videos.

For a little taste of what we’re about, check out this awesome promo video shot and produced for us by one of the Bay Area’s Premier Event Filmmakers, Andrew Hsu, of StudioMSV:

Data Shows ESPT is Fremont’s Best!

As Elite Sports Physical Therapy (ESPT) embarks on its 4th year providing sports and orthopedic rehabilitation to Fremont and the surrounding communities, it continues to establish itself as Fremont’s Premier Physical Therapy Clinic.

Based on data collected for an outcomes study in conjunction with the Physical Therapy Provider Network (PTPN)/Physiquality, ESPT is 1 of only 2 clinics in the Fremont/Newark/Union City area that exceeds benchmarks for outcomes and efficiency.

What Does This Mean

The data collected measured clinic abilities in 2 main areas: Outcomes Benchmark and Efficiency Benchmark.

The Outcomes Benchmark measures how well an office achieves expected treatment outcomes based on much improvement patients receive. What this says is that ESPT is able to help patients improve and reach their goals better than its competitors. In other words, if you want physical therapy that you can trust in to get you better, you’ll choose ESPT.

The second area of a clinic that is evaluated is its Efficiency Benchmark. Simply put, this measure indicates how efficient each office is in being able to achieve positive treatment outcomes. Higher ratings mean greater efficiency, because patients gain more improvement in fewer visits. So if you want to get better FAST, there’s no other place in Fremont except Elite Sports Physical Therapy.

What The Best Looks Like

What is unique about our facility is that we provide the most 1-on-1 physical therapist time of any clinic in the area. And obviously the data shows that it’s working. In addition to that, we have the latest cutting edge equipment and we have a team of the city’s most experienced physical therapists. No PT on staff has less than 5 years of experience and we have the only Board Certified Sports Clinical Specialist and the only Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist on staff.

For more details about us, check out our website at www.espt-ca.com or call us for more info at 510.656.3777.

What Can A Manual Physical Therapist Do For Me?

10-15 minutes

Ten-fifteen minutes. That is typically the amount of time most patients spend with their physical therapist. They are usually greeted by an aide when they arrive, then given some combination of hot packs, ultrasound, or exercise to warm-up. They may start with some exercises after that, then the therapist comes for a brief period to stretch them, do a little hands on work, or instruct them in some new exercises. After that, the patient continues with more of their program with the aide, then they end their session on ice and electrical stimulation. They might be in the clinic for 60-75 minutes, but they don’t spend more than a fraction of that with the PT. Sound familiar?

If that sounds like your physical therapy experience, then you need to look for a new physical therapist. You need to make sure that your insurance dollar is getting the most for you. You need to seek out a new breed of physical therapist. You need a manual physical therapist.

New Era

In this era of rising health care costs, we know people value their money and their time. We don’t want them to waste an hour at our facility thinking: “I could have received that same treatment from my personal trainer” or “I could have found that out from the web and saved myself $50.”

Manual physical therapy is a specialized form of physical therapy focused on the hands-on approaches used to treat dysfunction, rather than relying on a device or machine. In addition to be healing experience of human touch, manual PT’s are able to affect muscle tissue and mobilize joints in an attempt to decrease muscle spasm/tension and improve joint motion.

Why Doesn’t My PT Do It?

Manual therapy is only a small part of the education a therapist receives in school. Once in practice, many therapists may not spend the time, resources, or energy necessary to become efficient and proficient in this area of practice. And physicians may not have a thorough understanding of the benefits of manual physical therapy.

Manual therapy has been shown to provide relief for those suffering chronic neck and back pain, as well as conditions such as sacroiliac joint dysfunction and frozen shoulder. Whether relief comes once again from the touch of another human, manual technique have been shown effective in improving joint mobility, which can help decrease discomfort and alterations in motion/posture/function.

45 Minutes!!!

At ESPT, we have set ourselves apart by providing you the most 1-on-1 physical therapist time of any clinic in Fremont. By getting 45 minutes with the physical therapist, you can rest assured that we will be able to spend time working with you and assessing your treatment and progress in ways that other clinics cannot.

At ESPT, you will receive hands-on care at each and every physical therapy treatment. With manual therapy (and 3x as much PT time as some clinics are offering), you will have the experience of a licensed PT working to normalize your flexibility and mobility. Through soft-tissue work and joint mobilization, you will see firsthand why it’s important to have that “hands-on” approach in rehabilitation.

At ESPT, we have the city’s only Certified Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapist. You can meet him here. And he will provide you with treatment that you cannot receive anywhere else.

If you want the best physical therapy care in 2010, contact us at Elite Sports Physical Therapy (510.656.3777).