The Skinny: After missing practice Wednesday and participating on a limited basis Thursday, Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush was able to return to practice again on a limited basis on Friday and appears to be in line to play this Sunday. Bush suffered a mild calf strain last week.
The Injury: Calf strains fall into the same category as a hamstring and groin, in that they’re important muscle groups in terms of dynamic running and can prove to have a nagging quality to them if return to play happens too soon. The muscle needs sufficient time to heal and recover it’s elastic properties in order to be able to lengthen and shorten in an appropriate manner. The recovery time and rehab process varies depending on the location and severity of the tear, which we don’t know at this point. All news reports currently available seem to consider the strain minor in nature, which would lead me to guess that it falls more in the grade 1/low grade 2 category, if that.
Why is the calf muscle important? It functions to transmit forces generated by the feet up the chain to allow for power running and efficient acceleration/deceleration. Without proper calf muscle function, it becomes more difficult to run with normal stride lengths and can be uncomfortable performing quick burst type motions consistently.
The Prognosis: By all accounts, Bush will be ready to play. Maybe the rest and limitation of his activity combined with the treatment he invariably received were enough to allow the calf to be ready for Sunday’s contest. Bush has had nagging issues all season and has seemed to play though them pretty well, so there’s no reason to believe that the same won’t happen tomorrow. Expect Bush to get the majority of the carries (as he normally does) and be a huge part of the passing game against an Eagles defense lacking dynamic playmakers in their linebacking corp.
For more information or other injury-related questions, you can find me on Twitter at @z_dahdul or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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