How Bad is Young's Ankle?
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How Bad is Young's Ankle?
Right now, that's probably the question all 76ers fans want answered: How bad is it?
With 2 minutes, 15 seconds left in the first quarter, Thaddeus Young jumped to contest a lefty hook by Josh Smith. Smith made the shot, Young's right foot landed on Smith's. He immediately clutched his ankle and, a couple of minutes later, put no pressure on the foot in being helped to the training room by Donyell Marshall and Theo Ratliff.
Late in the second quarter, Sixers officials distributed a release saying that x-rays were negative for a fracture, that Young would obviously not return (the obviously being my addition, not what they said), and that it was officially diagnosed as an ankle sprain.
After the game, the Sixers officials said that Young would receive an MRI sometime on Wednesday to determine if there was any ligament damage. Officially, the Sixers listed him as "Day-to-Day."
This is an educated guess, but I would be surprised if Young played again in the regular season. Why?
1.) Here's Andre Miller's quote after the game: "He'll probably be out a couple of weeks. Hopefully, he'll be back by the first game of the playoffs. He had to be helped off, he couldn't put any weight on it. He needs to get that taken care of and not try to come back too early."
2.) After the game in the training room, Young, in jeans, was pulling a sock over a tightly wrapped ace bandage around his right ankle. Metal crutches were leaning against the training table.
3.) Someone told me Young was in a great deal of pain and this was his worst ankle sprain since high school.
4.) Sixers coach Tony DiLeo kept saying the coaching staff would need to sit down and talk about how to fill the gaps without Young, even going so far as to say that they would have to decide who will start in Young's place on Thursday.
Again, this is just an educated guess. Young could be back by the end of the week. The MRI could reveal nothing. But it seems unlikely Young won't need at least a decent rest. If there is ligament damage, it's going to take much longer than two weeks to heal.
Regardless of how long Young is out -- one game, two games, more games -- the Sixers will need to figure out what to do without him. Although it would appear the solution presented itself tonight: Start Marreese Speights. He often struggles on defense, and is still learning, but he had 16 points tonight, and a bunch of key buckets as the Sixers pulled away.
We'll let you know ASAP tomorrow upon hearing the results of Young's MRI.