As some of you may recall, Eddie Lacy was held out of Alabama's Spring practice with a turf toe injury. Most expected him to return in the fall, but his injury appears to be a lot more serious than people realized. Some are saying that there is a chance that he will not be able play this year and that if does play, he'l be limited.
All this information comes from an Alabama forum that I was reading while writing an Alabama preview. They seem to be taking the threat of Lacy not playing pretty seriously. The following are the posts that shed the most light on his injury and the situation around it. The posts are just meant to verify the information I said above. It's long but the posts are worth the read and all the posts I quoted come from the moderator types over there. The link to the forum will be posted at the bottom:
The full quote by Coach Saban when talking about the RB's over a question on T.J
"I think that's important for us because we needed someone like that. He has a really good opportunity. Eddie will hopefully be able to come back, Jalston (Fowler) can do certain things, Dee Hart can do certain things. T.J. is one of those guys who can do everything.
Coach Saban is pretty factual and not one to say something like this unless there was more of a problem with Lacey than us information plebes know.
T.J choosing us late in the recruiting process adds to my now speculation that the turf toe may a big career hamper from here out.
On the injury itself:
Turf toe is a complicated condition. The only hope of getting over it (especially since he's been suffering from it for so long now) is lengthy rest and rehabilitation of the joint. On occasion, surgery can fix it, but steel doesn't heal in this situation with great consistency. Once I heard he had surgery, my heart sank because the odds are now very much against him ever returning to previous levels of performance. We all want the very best for EL, and I am hoping against hope that he returns and contributes in a positive way, but to be perfectly frank, we need to be looking at our other RBs and game-planning around them.
By the time the condition reaches the need for surgery, it's already a grade three injury and, even with successful surgery, return to preinjury performance level may take 6-12 months.
Eddie was dressed on the sidelines yesterday. A few of our moderators have made it clear that EL's injury is such that he could recover, but he may in fact not.
Yeah, he injured it earlier in the season, but was really unable to give it adequate rest, therefore it kept bothering him. His first large chunk of time off was between the Iron Bowl and the BCSNCG, so I suspect that's why he was able to perform as well as he did in the NCG, but obviously that performance further irritated the joint. Since they went to surgery, we have to assume the docs felt all the conservative treatments had failed to restore the joint to pre-injury health and they felt the only way to give it a chance to do that was to operate on it.
According to what I've learned, time and rest and not pushing it is the main thing to fix it, but Lacy's was so bad, they had to go in and "trim" the affected muscle
The joint that gets worked on in the turf toe injury is a delicate joint that must bear a huge amount of force just in walking, not to mention what a running back asks of the joint in terms of cutting. The force on the joint from that type of torque is unique and difficult to bear. In short, the joint can be "fixed," surely, but the question is whether it will ever perform to the level it did prior to injury. That is the unknown in EL's case and we all our our fingers crossed.
On the recovery process
They'll be very careful about running on that repaired joint, since he's still limping. I'd think he'd do a lot of stationary bike work, which won't stress the joint. Staying in FB shape, which means maintaining the hip flexors, IT band, hams, etc. is a problem, since the bike won't reach any of these. There are resistance exercises for these groups but they still can't simulate the moves needed on the FB field. It's basically walking a tight rope between rehab and reinjury...
So who's going to take Lacy's place?
Likely T.J. Yeldon, a 5-star true freshman who should have no problem adjusting to the college game. Dee Hart will likely be a situational back and there have been some concerns about how recovered he is from his injury. Blake Sims, 4th or 5th on the depth chart, will likely be held out of fall practice with an injury. Jalston Fowler is also a threat to start.
I know this was long, but there was a lot of information. Thanks for bearing with me. RDT, if you have anything to share on this, feel free.