Derek JeterThe news that Derek Jeter will not return to the Yankees’ lineup before the All Star Break because of a new small fracture in the region of his prior break came as a surprise to many. However, each time Jeter seemed to move forward in his rehab and baseball related activities, his progress was neutralized by then taking a few steps back. Something was getting in Jeter’s way and it was more than a “cranky ankle”, No matter the optimism of the media reports, now we know what it was.

Yankees’ GM, Brian Cashman, asserted that Jeter did not begin baseball activities until medically cleared to do so. Certainly that seems logical and likely. Jeter’s earlier CT scans reportedly showed a progression of his post-operative fracture from healing to 100 percent healed, at which time he received the go-ahead. Only the newest exam revealed a small “new” crack that explained Jeter’s ongoing symptoms.

Though I don’t have access to his medical records to know definitively, it is worth noting that Jeter’s “new” fracture may not be as new as it appears. The break, as is typical of stress fractures, may simply not have been discerned on x-ray until it began to heal. The less significant a fracture, the more likely this is to be the case. Sometimes an affected area announces itself only as the calcification that signals repair lights up on the x-ray. That is yet another important reason why symptoms should dictate rehab progression, and playing through pain isn’t productive. Doing so only risks exacerbating injuries or results in compensatory breakdown. The false starts Jeter experienced in his recovery highlight this point; It appears he’s learned to listen to his 38 year-old-body.

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About the author

Abby serves as the Injury Expert for CBS New York where, since 2010, her Injury Breakdown Blog examines injuries in professional sports. She also blogs on health & fitness as well as sports injuries for Huffington Post, and Recovery Physical Therapy.com, where her blog earned a top ten mention for physical therapy blogs in 2012 @ WorldWideLearn.com. In a ranking of the Top 30 Healthcare Blogs for 2012, Top Masters in Healthcare also rated Abby’s blog in the top three in Physical Therapy! Abby is the founder of Fit-Screen and she welcomes your comments and questions!

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