Athletes who have had this injury

Here’s a few athletes who have ruptured their achilles tendon (courtesy of Wikipedia):
Todd Pinkston, WR for the Philadelphia Eagles, Dan Marino, QB for the Miami Dolphins, Reggie Kelly, TE for the Cincinnati Bengals, Marlin Jackson, CB for the Philadelphia Eagles, Vinny Testaverde, QB for the New York Jets, Jerome James from the Chicago Bulls, Mehmet Okur from the Utah Jazz, Justin Williams from the Carolina Hurricanes, Kalin Lucas a point guard from Michigan State, and Misty May-Treanor from the U.S. Olympic beach volleyball team. Most recently, David Beckham, an internationally known footballer and icon ruptured his achilles tendon, also ending his ability to play in the 2010 FIFA World Cup for England.
Elton Brand is another one who did so.
Most came back and had a full recovery. It’s doable.

9 Responses to “Athletes who have had this injury”

  1. Misty-May is a fascinating “case”! She played all-out World Class amazingly aggressive beach volleyball, then tore her AT jive dancing for a TV show (maybe Dancing With the Stars?)! I think that vaguel confirms my undocumented guess that beach volleyball is WAY less ATR-intensive than court volleyball.

    My own tiny-sample evidence is that I never tore an AT playing beach 4s or even beach 2s, which I played hard — but I popped ‘em both on the hard court, in shoes that “squeaked” with good traction! Love that traction, but it does put lots more force on the AT than squishy sand.

  2. How about Sami Salo, Vancouver Canuck’s hockey player who “BLEW” his AT playing floor hockey!!

  3. Yep, it seems that the hard court sports (volleyball, basketball, floor hockey, raquetball, etc.) are what put a lot of strain on the achilles. Probably the quick and hard “cutting” that’s required. This is softened by the sand in beach volleyball.

  4. I ruptured my AT running to first base playing softball. I’ve seen others on the site who have also been injured playing softball or baseball.

    My doc recommended not wearing cleats when I (hopefully) play next summer. Apparently, the extra traction provided by the cleats can have the same effect as hard court sports. He felt it’s better to lose traction in sneakers and slip than maintain excellent traction in cleats and put too much strain on the AT and risk a rupture.

  5. Slippery isn’t always great either. I tore my ACL on a slippery floor playing basketball. I think it is most important to be properly warmed-up and in “game” shape before playing any sport.

  6. OK, too much slippery can get you scrambling frantically for balance, which can also lead to injury. Still, the “classic” way to tear an AT is pushing really hard against solid resistance, which usually means good traction, not bad.

    Warming up before playing sports is clearly a Good Thing, too (maybe UNlike stretching!), but there are a LOT of us here who tore an AT after warming up pre-game AND playing a bunch of games before we went “pop”.

    BOTH of mine happened late in a long evening of competitive volleyball, and I always run around the gym for a few minutes before even touching a ball. That’s a common story here, seems to me. I think it’s tough to make a case to “blame the victim” in a lot of ATRs.

  7. Kelly Holmes partially ruptured her achilles and suffered a whole host of other injuries in the late nineties before coming back to win gold in both the 800m and 1500m at the 2004 Olympics.

    Mark Lewis Francis, a 100m sprinter, won silver in the European Championships a few nights ago after recovering from a partial tear of the achilles.

    Maybe full tears/ruptures are more serious injuries than partial tears but impressive comebacks nonetheless.

  8. I just tripped over a video of Misty-May Treanor — including the ACTUAL RUPTURE(!) at .

    It looks like she was doing “the move” that tore close to 50% of our ATs (and both of mine) — pushing off from a foot that’s well behind you, hard eccentric loading of the calf and AT.

    And she apparently got surgery and a cast, straight “old school”.

  9. And now we can add Cdn football player Brady Browne to the list — AND he went non-op, AND he’s posted a series of Youtube videos explaining his choice and cataloging his fast modern (and so far very successful-looking) rehab!

    Mind you, he was near the end of his carreer anyway (at a geezer-like 29!), and not quite as prominent in his sport as David Beckham, so he may not return to pro football, much less attain stardom. . .

    He says his decision was partly prompted by his Doctor telling him about two other CFL players who went non-op and came out happy. I don’t have their names.

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