The Pressure to Recover

In recent and perhaps obvious news, Kobe Bryant is out for the next 6-9 months recovering from a torn Achilles tendon. This is just an addition to the already rocky season the Lakers have had. Kobe says that he was making a move that he does a million times and it just went out. He tried applying pressure but “there was nothing there.” This recent injury brings up the topic of injuries in the NBA, and amongst athletes in general.

Injuries are all too common especially in fast paced, and high intensity sports that require extreme amounts of pivoting and athleticism. Often times injuries are much more minor and the recovery timetable is within weeks. For professional athletes their bodies are their trade, their source of income so it poses the question, just how much pressure is put on athletes to recover?

During almost any post-injury interview with an athlete you’ll hear them say something along the lines of just wanting to get back in the game, or can’t wait to be recovered. This response is only natural but probably intensified for athletes. It can be rather discouraging to be injured, especially in the height of a season or in Kobe’s case right before the playoffs.

Injuries can also present an issue for teammates and fans. When the Bulls’ Derrick Rose tore his ACL there was an enormous amount of pressure put on his team to compensate for his loss. Expectations set by fans and coaches alike can be stressful for anyone. Some may think that the amount of pressure put on the injured athlete and their team may be too great, but I think it is part of the job. Beyond talent, athletes must posses psychological strength also.

In this season alone we have seen injuries all over the board, Joakim Noah, Dwayne Wade, Taj Gibson, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Lebron James…the list goes on and on. At this point, they become second nature-somehthing to be expected. Luckily for the players, they are too aware of this and have adapted accordingly. Staying positive is definitely necessary during these instances.

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