The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

NBA News: Ricky Rubio Suffers More Than A Sprain

Posted by on Friday, February 6th, 2015


Ricky Rubio’s ankle was the big news around the NBA last week. The Minnesota Timberwolves’ star point guard was averaging 9.5 points, 8.6 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game. And he had just signed a $55-million contract extension when he suffered an ankle injury in game seven against the Orlando Magic. Initially, it was reported he suffered a high ankle sprain but new details emerged last week which put the player’s future into further question.

ricky rubio ankle
Ricky Rubio’s high ankle sprain was worse than expected. Image Source:

What Happened To Ricky Rubio’s Ankle?

One false step is all it takes to roll an ankle and with so much happening on the basketball court, it’s an easy mistake to make. In this case, he jumped up to make a shot in the key and came down on it hard, tumbling into the crowd and clutching his ankle, as you can see here.

”It’s a very unique ankle sprain,” Coach Flip Saunders told the press last week. ”They said at the time it’s going to be worse than a high ankle sprain, and everyone knows those go eight to 12 weeks.” Now, we learn that Rubio actually sustained damage to the muscles and ligaments leading from his ankle to his toes as well.

After visiting two specialists, Rubio was warned that a premature return to the boards could cause a stress fracture in his leg. He began participating in his first contact drills on the 20th, but there is no timetable for his return.

The injury has been terribly frustrating for Rubio, who said back in December, “I’ve been saying ‘it’s two weeks’ for the last month. I don’t want to say any more dates… I go as my body will let me.” He added, “I can’t cut and, if I’m running and I have to stop right away, I have to take two, three extra steps.”

What Is A High Ankle Sprain?

A high ankle sprain occurs when the ligaments connecting the tibia to the fibula get twisted and tear. Though far less common than a low ankle sprain involving the ATFL and CFL, we see a lot of high ankle sprains among competitive athletes due to the sheer physicality of contact sports. High ankle sprains are considered a severe injury that may require surgery to repair. It’s even worse in a case like Ricky Rubio’s, when the surrounding muscles and tendons also tear. Treatment recommendations depend on the structures damaged. You will need the right type of brace to stabilize the ankle as it heals. Aggressive weight therapy with the help of a sports medicine professional is important in strengthening the tendons on the outer ankle to restore full functionality.

Ankle Sprain Treatment in NYC

Board-certified podiatrists and podiatric surgeons at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in New York City can help you rehabilitate an injured ankle with a full treatment regimen that includes physical therapy and strengthening. We offer treatments to reduce excessive scar tissue formation and reduce pain as well. Early treatment is necessary to hasten your recovery time, so book an appointment with NYC sports medicine specialists today at our offices in Manhattan or Westchester.


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.