Breaking down Jimmy Rollins' calf injury

Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Philadelphia Phillies Jimmy Rollins, right, greets teammates after being introduced before a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Monday, April 12, 2010, in Philadelphia. Philadelphia won 7-4.

What does it take to treat Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins' strained calf muscle?

On Monday, Rollins strained his calf muscle just before the Phillies home opener against the Washington Nationals. He did not play and is said to be getting an MRI.

The calf muscle refers to a group of muscles, above the Achilles tendon in the back of the leg. The media portion is the part most commonly strained.

A calf strain can range from mild to severe:

  • Grade 1 means the muscle fibers are stretched. This is a mild injury.
  • Grade 2 means there is partial tearing of the muscle fibers (anywhere from 10 to 90-percent affect.)
  • Grade 3 is the most severe. It refers to when there is a complete tear in the muscle. It is rare.
Grade 2 is the most common grade of calf strain. It typically takes three to six weeks for recovery.

Podiatrist Dr. Nick Taweel of the Rothman Institute at Jefferson says calf strains are common from the professional athlete to the weekend warrior. "It's a stretching injury when the muscle is stretched beyond its excursion and the fibers are torn."

Treatment starts with rest, ice, compression and medication as needed. Athletes then undergo sports specific rehabilitation. The typical recovery time for a Grade 2 strain is 3 to 6 weeks but can be quicker for athletes.

However, we do not know the extent of Jimmy Rollins injury.

For more information on calf strains and treatment click here.

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