On Wednesday, it was announced that Dallas Clark has a hand/wrist injury that will keep him out indefinitely. Injury expert Will Carroll indicated that it was a wrist sprain, and that Clark was seeking an opinion as to whether surgery is necessary. A sprain is when the ligaments that control motion around the joint are stretched beyond their normal limits. A sprain usually happens when the athlete uses his outstretched hand to break a fall. Sprains are classified by severity, with Grade 1 being mild with no tearing, Grade 2 moderate with partial tearing, and Grade 3, torn ligaments and joint instability.
The fact that there is no timeline for his return indicates that the severity of Clark’s injury is worse than Grade 1, and likely on the fence between Grade 2 and 3. If any ligaments are torn (Grade 3), he will require surgery, and with a recovery period of between three and six months, that diagnosis would end his season. eOrthopod offers some interesting information about the possible surgeries that may be involved should it come to that, including pinning the bones of the wrist in place so they heal properly, ligament reconstruction, and fusion surgery. UPDATE 10/21: News-Sentinel sports columnist Reggie Hayes tweets “Bill Polian, speaking in FW, says Dallas Clark’s wrist injury is “not a common one” and #Colts will know more later today.” Note: Bill Polian is in Fort Wayne, IN today as a keynote speaker with ESPN founder Bill Rasmussen at a “Taking your Business to the Next Profitable Level” forum. Polian’s comment implies that the injury may not even be a typical wrist sprain. We will update the story as we hear more.