Friday, December 25, 2015

Drew Brees has torn plantar fascia in right foot

Despite being in a significant amount of pain and his team being out of the playoff race, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees wants to play Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

An MRI revealed that the right foot injury Brees sustained on Monday night against the Detroit Lions is a torn plantar fascia, NFL Network's Albert Breer reported. The plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the base of the toes.

On Wednesday, Saints coach Sean Payton told reporters that Brees is day-to-day. However, Ian Rapoport, also of NFL Network, tweeted the following, making it sound as though it will be a long shot for Brees to suit up against the Jaguars.

As a sidenote, Payton told Jacksonville reporters on a conference call that he expects both he and Brees to be back in New Orleans next season. That would be a surprise, particularly for Payton. The Saints' defense is a mess, and unlikely to get markedly better in one offseason, and if he opted out of his deal with the team, Payton would be a hot commodity. It's not hard to imagine a marriage between Payton and the Indianapolis Colts, which would pair an offensive-minded coach with one of the best young quarterbacks in the game, Andrew Luck.

It seems unlikely that New Orleans would part ways with Brees, but the team and its franchise quarterback will have to do some major negotiating – Brees' salary cap number for 2016, the final year of his contract, is $30 million, and the Saints could use the relief.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Saints' Drew Brees day-to-day with torn plantar fascia

Saints quarterback Drew Brees became the fourth quarterback in NFL history with 60,000 passing yards on Monday night, but his ability to continue up the ladder in 2015 will be complicated by a foot injury.

After the loss to the Lions, Brees said that he would have an MRI on his right foot due to an injury suffered during the game that left him wearing a protective boot. Ed Werder of ESPN reports that the test showed a torn plantar fascia and that Brees wants to play in the final two games, but is still waiting an evaluation from Charlotte-based foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson.

If the report is accurate, that would mean two of the four passers with more than 60,000 yards would be in contact with Anderson about similar injuries. Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is dealing with a partially torn plantar fascia and may need surgery to repair the issue.

Injuries affect different people in different ways, but Manning’s been out for several weeks so there’s some chance that Brees may have played his last down for the Saints this season. With talk about Sean Payton’s future, or lack thereof, in New Orleans a background topic for much of the year and Brees carrying a huge cap number for a team that needs help at many positions this off season, some will likely wonder if he’ll play any for them next season.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Pregnant Feet Swelling Causes Permanent Foot Size Increase

Women’s feet swelling during pregnancy may not go away after they give birth, confirms a new study. What can you do about it?

Feet swelling while pregnant? It's a common problem for women during pregnancy, but new research brings the bad news that larger shoes may be necessary long after delivery.

Women often report flat feet while pregnant, a symptom that is probably caused by the extra baby weight bearing down to flatten the arches of the feet and increase feet size.

A new study published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation confirms that the swelling and loss of arch height that comes with pregnancy can be permanent, with the increase in foot size lasting long after pregnancy.

"I had heard women reporting changes in their shoe size with pregnancy, but found nothing about that in medical journals or textbooks," said Dr. Neil Segal, associate professor of orthopaedics and rehabilitation at the University of Iowa, in a statement.

Segal decided to scientifically measure the feet swelling of pregnant women in the first trimester of their pregnancy, and then five months after they gave birth. "We found that pregnancy does indeed lead to permanent changes in the feet." The study, supported by the American Geriatrics Society and the National Institute on Aging, included 49 pregnant women, collecting arch measurements at both time points before and after they gave birth.

The results showed that for between 60 and 70 percent of the women, swelling led to longer and wider feet five months after they gave birth. The average foot arch and arch rigidity of the women decreased markedly after they gave birth, causing a 2-10 millimeter increase in foot length and arch drop five months after being pregnant.

Feet swelling is likely to be greatest for women after a first pregnancy. The study findings suggest that second, third, or later pregnancies do not alter foot size much more than it increases the first time.

This study is corroborated by other experts. Dr. Bret Ribosky, president of the American College of Foot and Ankle Orthopedics and Medicine, told that a woman's foot size can increase by a half size or more during pregnancy.

"The same hormones that are released to relax the pelvic area also loosen the ligaments in the foot," said Ribotsky. "In addition, the increased body weight of pregnancy lowers the arches, further adding to the foot's length and width."
It's important for women to accept the growth of their shoe size while pregnant. Swelling feet should not be forced into uncomfortable shoes.

"Too-tight shoes weaken the muscles in the ball of the foot and the ligaments that hold the toes straight," Dr. Ronald Smith, associate professor of orthopedic surgery at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, told Parenting. "And that can set the stage for foot problems."

Aside from feet swelling, those foot problems while pregnant can include ingrown nails, corns caused by pressure from tight shoes, and bunions, which are bumps at the base of the big toe that grow with friction from shoes. Higher heels mean a higher likelihood for foot problems later on.

In future research, Segal hopes to follow up with the 49 women in this study to see whether the changes in their feet size can lead to musculoskeletal problems like arthritis as they age.

"We know that women, and especially women who have had children, are disproportionately affected by musculoskeletal disorders," he said. Segal expects that foot size swelling can help explain why pregnant women are at a higher risk of developing arthritis pain in their feet, knees, hips, and spines later on. He plans to conduct further work on possible rehabilitation measures to prevent pregnancy-related arch drop.

The takeaway: pregnant feet swelling can lead to a permanently larger shoe size, and it's important to wear comfortable shoes during and after pregnancy in order to avoid foot problems later in life.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Kim Kardashian buys first flats: 'So uncomfortable!'

The pregnant reality star loves her high heels.

Kim Kardashian, out and about to promote her newTyler Perry's Temptation movie, hid her bump under a poufy, short beige dress as she visited Live with Kelly and Michael today. Kristin Chenoweth, who was filling in for Kelly Ripa, asked about her maternity outfits and why there's so much chatter about the reality star's pregnancy style.

"My sister Kourtney warned me when I wasn't pregnant," said Kim. "She said all of the criticism you get when you're pregnant or a new mom is insane. Just wait." She went on to say, "I wore this black leather skirt the other day. People are like why are you wearing black? Are you ashamed? Are you trying to hide it? It was tight! I was trying to show the bump. (They said) You're trying to suffocate the baby. I had this maternity skirt made for me, like specially!"
She added, "Everything I do it seems to be crazy."

What's really crazy is what she said next: "I just bought my first pair of flats the other day. And I wore them. They are SO uncomfortable. Like, my heels are so comfortable," she said, acknowledging that at 5-feet-2 she likes the added height.

When Chenoweth noted the beautiful high heels she was wearing on the show, Kardashian admitted, "My foot is so swollen. I will say. It really is. And I'm sad. You know, 'cuz all my shoes doen't really fit me anymore. But I heard it goes back. Hopefully."

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Lakers trainer: Kobe aiming for start of season return

So much for all that premature talk about Kobe Bryant retiring.

The morning after the Achilles tendon pop heard 'round Laker Nation, team trainer Gary Vitti said the timetable for Bryant's return is six to nine months and that he is aiming to return for the start of the 2013-14 regular season.
"That's the plan," Vitti said, according to the team's Twitter account.

Bryant, who shared his deepest thoughts on the matter by way of Facebook late Friday night, tweeted a picture of his MRI today as well.

Vitti, who is in his 30th season with the team, said Bryant suffered a third-degree rupture of the tendon. Surgery is scheduled for today at 1 p.m.

Vitti was also quick to dispute the much talked-about notion that Bryant's excessive playing time may have led to the injury.

"Some of its just bad luck," Vitti said. "The stuff out there about Kobe… to say he was injured because he played 48 (minutes) is a stretch."

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak was also quick to address questions about whether the team might use its amnesty clause on Bryant's contract, saying it was something that had not been discussed. If they didn't anticipate him playing for most of next season, it would be a way to preserve $30.4 million in salary cap space while planning for his possible re-signing when he becomes a free agent in summer 2014. Bryant would still be paid on his contract.

Bryant averaged 45.6 minutes in the last seven games, with the Lakers going 6-1 and Bryant averaging 28.9 points (42.4% shooting), 8.4 assists, 7.3 rebounds and 3.4 turnovers. The Lakers, who are one game up on Utah for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference but don't have the tiebreaker with the Jazz, still have a playoff push to finish without Bryant.

They host San Antonio on Sunday and then host Houston on Wednesday in the regular-season finale. The Jazz play at Minnesota on Monday and at Memphis on Wednesday.


Monday, April 15, 2013

What Kobe's probable Achilles tear means for his future

Kobe Bryant was in no mood to answer the only question that mattered, and no one — not even a Boston Celtics fan — could blame him.

Yet as the Los Angeles Lakers star stood there in the Staples Center locker room with teary eyes discussing his night of ill fortune, how he heard his Achilles tendon pop late in the fourth quarter and how this was the toughest moment of his transcendent career, the question eventually came.

"So this isn't the last game that we'll see you play?" a reporter asked after the Lakers downed Golden State to keep their playoff hopes alive.

"Really? Really?" he shot back before making light of the moment.
Yes, Kobe, this is really happening.

Bryant will have an MRI on Saturday to, as the Lakers put it in the news release, "confirm the diagnosis" before later having surgery. The timing, make no mistake, couldn't be more torturous for the 34-year-old who had hinted so many times next season would likely be his last. As one could predict when it comes to Bryant, he hardly sounded like someone who was entertaining the notion that this could be the end.

"(I was) upset and dejected and thinking about this mountain, man, to overcome," he told reporters. "I mean this is a long process. I wasn't sure I could do it. Then your kids walk in, and you're like, 'You know, I've got to set an example. Daddy's going to be fine. I'm going to do it.'

"I can hear (the doubters) already, and it's pissing me off right now thinking about it."
Beyond the fact that the Lakers will now attempt to sneak into the playoffs without him, there's the reality that — based on a brutal body of evidence from NBA players in the past — he may not return until midway through the season that was his supposed swan song. As the Miami Heat's LeBron James tweeted late Friday night, Bryant has played through so much pain that a comeback wouldn't surprise.

But given that Bryant is as diligent a worker and quick a healer as there is in the professional sports world, it's not a matter of whether he can come back as much as it is whether there will be any ripple effect of the injury on his retirement plans. Or, for that matter, the Lakers plans as they pertain to him.

Bryant has one season left on his contract (worth $30.4 million), and would likely return just as the Lakers are facing a free agency period in the summer of 2014 that could have the likes of King James himself on the market. What's more, one has to wonder how center and free-agent-to-be Dwight Howard will assess his situation with this drastically-changed Lakers landscape. Before Bryant's injury, all signs had been pointing to Howard wanting to re-sign with the Lakers.

According to Dr. Asheesh Bedi on the website,, the typical return from an Achilles tear and surgery is between six and nine months. Bryant mentioned during his postgame discussion with reporters that he'll be doing homework on athletes who have suffered an Achilles tear and, one can assume, proceed to push his way back faster than every man and woman on that list. His goal going forward should be to channel his inner Dominique Wilkins.

As documented in a comprehensive study of Achilles injuries in the NBA by analyst Kevin Pelton (who's now with ESPN), the Atlanta Hawks star tore his Achilles at the age of 32, then returned to play his way onto two more All-Star teams before retiring at the age of 39. The what-not-to-do blueprint comes courtesy of Detroit Pistons great Isiah Thomas, who was forced into early retirement at the age of 32 after tearing his Achilles. More recently, Los Angeles Clippers guard Chauncey Billups, who was 35 at the time, returned 10 months after tearing his Achilles on Feb. 8, 2012.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Kobe Bryant out indefinitely after spraining ankle; accuses Dahntay Jones of 'dirty' play

ATLANTA – After crumpling to the court with a severely sprained left ankle that Kobe Bryant called his worst in the past 13 seasons, the Los Angeles Lakers' star guard could miss key games in the stretch run to make the playoffs.

The Lakers are the eighth seed in the Western Conference, and fighting to qualify for the postseason. The loss of Bryant from the lineup – or perhaps even him diminished and playing with pain – could seriously imperil the Lakers' chances.
The Lakers termed Bryant as "out indefinitely."

In the final moments of the Lakers' 96-92 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night, Bryant missed a fadeaway baseline jumper and landed on the foot of Hawks defender Dahntay Jones. After X-rays came back negative on his ankle, Bryant was livid with what he believed had been a "dirty and dangerous" play on the part of Jones.

In an email to Yahoo! Sports late Wednesday night, Bryant said that Jones "threw his hip and lower body into mine on the shot. That's a foul with 100 percent certainty. Dirty and dangerous play. Doesn't belong in the game."

Bryant believed Jones slid his foot underneath him on the shot, leaving him vulnerable on the landing. After Bryant had brought the Lakers within 93-92 with a 3-pointer with 18.2 seconds left, he missed an 18-foot shot with 3.9 seconds left that could've tied the game.

On his personal Twitter account, Jones tweeted, "…Tape doesn't lie. Ankle was turned on the floor after the leg kick out that knocked him off balance. I would never try to hurt the man." Jones suggested that Bryant's leg kick on the shot initiated the contact, tweeting in his own defense: "Leg kick that makes contact with a defensive player is an offense foul. Period. The NBA changed that rule two years ago. Stop it." Asked if there was a way he could play in Friday's game against the Indiana Pacers, Bryant later responded in an email: "I don't know."

"I can't get my mind past the fact that I've got to wait a year to get revenge," Bryant said.

Bryant and Jones have history. As a member of the Denver Nuggets in the 2009 Western Conference finals, Jones was called on a flagrant foul for tripping Bryant.

"I think the officials need to protect players," Bryant said after the game. "Period." The Lakers have been playing without All-Star forward Pau Gasol for six weeks. After tearing the plantar fascia of his right foot, Gasol has returned to workouts and possibly could return to the lineup in the next seven to 10 days.