So I hurt my left knee playing basketball towards the end of August ’07. I’ve always loved to play basketball as much as I love watching and following the sport itself. Don’t really have a history of knee problems….yea, I’ve had tweaks before, but who hasn’t? Now ankles, I’ve had plenty of issues with those – I get an uncontrollable twinge every time I see an ankle injury replayed on TV. Been there, done that.
Towards the middle of summer, I got to where I was playing pickup around 3 times a week, in addition to being in a weekend league at a gym in DC. This, my first significant knee injury, happened while playing a pickup game one Saturday. One of my teammates had just taken a post fade-away jumper from the block. I think I’d actually given him the entry pass from the far right wing. So, seeing him shoot and loving to rebound, I started to make an initial move to crash the offensive boards. Just as I was attempting to go around his area, towards the open baseline lane, he was fouled and knocked down after the shot. As he rolled, his back came crashing towards my left leg.
I thought I was lucky. His back and my shin did make significant contact, just below the knee. But I was able to jerk my leg away right before he completely rolled over on it. The scene could have been really-real ugly. I didn’t hear any type of pop, but still, something just didn’t feel right.
I hobbled around on my knee for several days, not thinking it was too serious. Most of my pain was in the indented area, just below the knee-cap, towards the inside of the knee. I stayed away from the court for about a week and a half and most of the pain gradually went away. However, my knee still didn’t feel whole. Oh well, I thought, I’m only 27….these things get better right? I bought a knee brace and went right back to the action on the court.
Funny thing is, I never really had any problems running and jumping on it. But I didn’t feel like I could play without the brace…and by the way, the “brace” was not some high-tech gadget, just your standard type you can get at any CVS drug store. There were no significant problems or after-effects from playing, so I continued to ball.
About half of the way into September, my knee still didn’t feel right. This time, I experienced (and I’m not quite sure how to describe it) a puffiness around the back outside section of the knee. Okay, to hell with the resistance, I said, it was time to schedule an appointment with a doctor. Unfortunately, the doctor, whom several people at my firm recommended, was not available until about a month later, in mid-October. Since he seemed to be the best option, I felt that I could wait it out, and keep playing basketball in the meantime. Honestly, a visit to the doctor was just going to be a precaution. In the end, I figured that I’d be alright…..or at least that’s what I kept telling myself.