Crimson Tide running back Eddie Lacy was hampered most of last season with turf toe, and it was announced during Coach Nick Saban’s comments yesterday that the back expected to replace Trent Richardson will miss all of spring practice as he recovers from surgery.
Lacy managed to rack up 674 rushing yards and seven touchdowns last year in relief or Richardson. He also had 11 catches for 131 yards, which leads fans to ask, how bad can turf toe be, if Lacy was able to do all this?
The very term ‘turf toe’ sounds like a minor pain that should be walked off; but it’s much more than that. Here’s what one medical site says about turf toe:
When you are walking or running, you start each subsequent step by raising your heel and letting your body weight come forward onto the ball of your foot. At a certain point you propel yourself forward by “pushing off” of your big toe and allowing your weight to shift to the other foot. If the toe for some reason stays flat on the ground and doesn’t lift to push off, you run the risk of suddenly injuring the area around the joint. Or if you are tackled or fall forward and the toe stays flat, the effect is the same as if you were sitting and bending your big toe back by hand beyond its normal limit, causing hyperextension of the toe. That hyperextension can – either over time or, if forceful enough, all at once – cause a sprain in the ligaments that surround the joint.
Nick Saban addressed Lacy’s recuperation yesterday in his comments about spring practice: “The doctors made the decision to do what they did and how they managed it last season,” Saban said. “They made the decision on what they should do to fix it for the future, and that’s what we’ve done. But we knew that is a longer rehab when you have that kind of an injury.”
Ideally, the surgery and subsequent rehabilitation will have Lacy ready to go for fall camp, but it remains to be seen. An injury of this nature can, if not treated properly, lead to a chance in the person’s gait as they compensate for the pain of taking each step. Rest assured, however, that Lacy has the best sports medicine professionals helping with his recovery.