indexThe Oklahoma City Thunder suffer a huge deficit in the remainder of the playoffs with losing one of their star players, Serge Ibaka. Ibaka is expected to miss the rest of the playoffs due to a calf injury he suffered during the playoff game against the Los Angeles Clippers,. An MRI later revealed a grade 2 strain of his planataris muscle.

251323403041045-141957BF5770096BAF0The plantaris muscle is a thin, small muscle the runs along the gastrocnemuis muscle (major calf muscle). This muscle is very active when plantarflexing (point toes downward) the foot with the knee fully extended. As with most muscles, tendons, or ligaments, when the plantaris muscle is injured it is identified with 3 levels of severity:

  • Grade I- minor trauma or “sprain.”
  • Grade II- more severe trauma or “partial tear.”
  • Grade III- severe trauma or “complete tear.”

Signs and symptoms include local swelling in the calf and pain limiting full dorsiflexion (pulling ankle upward-toes toward nose). Even with a grade 3 tear, or rupture, the treatment is non-operative. Rehabilitation can take between 1 and 2 months and can be broken up into 3 phases.

Phase 1- This phase (one week) is designed to prevent further damage, control pain, swelling and inflammation.

Phase 2- Beginning during week 2, this phase initiates some exercise to restore soft tissue mobility. These exercises include stretching and plafaf8429b07af2b3a8fe12d970a07a11a_crop_northntar flexion exercise in a seated position. Once these are tolerated well, exercises are progressed to full weight bearing (standing). All exercises should be initially performed in a slow and controlled manner.

Phase 3- Goals for this final phase consist of increasing calf muscle strength and endurance, in preparation for the return to sport program. The return to sport program can be initiated at the beginning of the fourth week if the athlete demonstrates appropriate healing.

The Oklahoma City Thunder will take on the San Antonio Spurs Monday for game 1 of Western Conference Final, as Serge Ibaka is working to recover.



Provided by the Primus Sports Medicine Staff