What remains of the Boston Celtics are in Washington to take on the Wizards tonight. Once again, the Celtics will be undermanned.
The bigger news is that Al Horford will once again miss action due to pain in his left knee. According to Brad Stevens, Horford was diagnosed with Patellofemoral pain syndrome in his left knee. That is a long, ominous sounding thing, but it’s really very common. Chances are you a few of you reading this (and definitely one of us writing this) has it.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome is pain at the front of your knee, around your kneecap. Sometimes called “runner’s knee,” it’s more common in people who participate in sports that involve running and jumping.
The knee pain often increases when you run, walk up or down stairs, sit for long periods, or squat. Simple treatments — such as rest and ice — often help, but sometimes physical therapy is needed to ease patellofemoral pain.
As a long-time sufferer of patellar tendonitis and Patellofemoral pain syndrome, I can tell you that taking the time now to treat this and focus on his recovery is well worth it. It’s not necessarily an injury like taking a wrong step and straining something. It’s an overuse injury that causes inflammation and discomfort. Steps to reduce inflammation (ice, NSAIDs) and strengthening of the quadriceps will help take pressure off that tendon. They may also give him some kind of wrap to wear on his knee to also reduce pressure.
If it’s not treated, it can linger and sap some explosiveness. At the same time, the pain can be managed so if this returns come playoff time, I’d think Horford could play through it with an added treatment regimen. It really is prudent to take time off in December, especially against weaker opponents and with the Celtics depth, to attack this and get the knee right.
Of course, the plus side to this is…
Kyrie Irving is not on the injury report. He says his shoulder is sore but he’ll play.