Breanna Stewart, a WNBA MVP, former Syracuse native and recipient of just about every women’s basketball honor during her career, was helped off the court on Sunday during Dynamo Kursk’s EuroLeague title game vs UMMC Ekaterinburg. It looks like Breanna will need surgery to repair an injured Achilles tendon. So what does that mean for her career and how long should her rehab be?
An Achilles injury can take up to a year of recovery and rehabilitation before a basketball player returns to the court. Former WNBA and Olympic star Tamika Catchings had surgery on her Achilles in Sept. 2007 and played in the 2008 Olympics and in the 2008 WNBA season. DeMarcus Cousins ruptured his Achilles in January 2018; he returned to the NBA a year later. This shouldn’t be a career-ending injury, but Breanna will definitely be in rehab for a while.
The Achilles tendon is one of the strongest in the body and when surgery is needed to repair it, it’s one of the longest rehab periods of any surgery. Usually at six weeks, patients are allowed full weight-bearing out of the cast or boot. Physical therapy is started and is aimed at restoring ankle range of motion. Strengthening of the calf muscles and Achilles is gradually allowed as the tendon heals. Patients are usually able to return to full activity by six months.
We send our best wishes to Breanna for a healthy recovery! #GetPT1st