Otto Porter Injury Analysis: When will he be back?

Posted on November 24, 2013 by Dr. Ray Solano (@DrRaySolano)

Washington Wizards Otto Porter's injury continues to remain a mystery. The team has yet to release a statement on Porter's MRI results from last month and all we really know is that he suffered a hip flexor injury in mid-September. For non-athletes, an MRI report is usually generated within 24 hours. We can only speculate that Porter's hip joint is intact and that the condition is indeed just a soft tissue injury.

Wizards fans should not push the 'panic button' yet. It is possible for a hip flexor injury to take as long as it has to recover for Porter. That's right, almost 8 weeks. Porter suffered a hamstring injury to the same side earlier this year, which leads me to believe that the hip flexor injury recovery has been prolonged. The muscles that move the hips and knees work as a unit. When injury to one area has ocurred, other muscles compensate to maintain normal movement patterns.

To better understand Porter's condition and expected return to play, lets take a closer look at his injury. The hip flexors are a group of muscles that move the hip forward when running and walking. A great deal of stress is applied to this muscle group when sprinting and kicking. A strain to the hip flexor can vary anywhere from stretching to a complete tear of the muscle tissue.

Frequently, a hip flexor strain is the result of an overly forceful contraction. This can occur during a sprint or a series of sprints. The strain can also be the result of overuse and associated 'micro traumas'. A micro trauma can be considered a tiny tear. These tiny tears accumulate over time and eventually result in a strain and pain. It's my belief that Porter developed these tiny tears as he was recovering from the hamstring injury that ocurred July 17th of this year.

Generally, a 1st degree strain involves stretching (or very minor tearing) damage to the muscle or tendon. A 2nd degree strain is associated with partial tearing of the muscle or tendon. And, worst case scenario, a 3rd degree strain is a complete tear. A 3rd degree tear is very rare. It's my belief that Porter is recovering from a 2nd degree strain that has been exacerbated at times from a previous hamstring injury. This is why it has taken so long for Porter to return to the court.

Wizards fans can take a sigh of relief because I feel Porter will be back before the year is over. If I had to guess, I would say in the next 2 weeks. However, expect a gradual return to play for Porter. Keep in mind that he has missed a lot of valuable time with the team. Regardless, it will be nice to see the third overall pick in the 2013 draft take to the court for Washington.

next up:

John Wall Ends Game With a Statement Block

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