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Shaquille O'Neal, Kristen Clement, Mateen Cleaves

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PLAYER BIOS continued...

O'Neal was the first player in NBA history to be named Player of the Week in his first week in the league. He was named to the All-NBA First Team in 1997-1998, to the All-NBA Second Team in 1994-1995, and to the All-NBA Third Team in 1993-1994, 1995-1996, and 1996-1997. He has been the NBA Player of the Month six times in his career.

Clement is the Lady Vols floor leader and emotional captain. Clement is averaging 5.6 points and a team-high 3.5 assists. She is from the Philadelphia suburb of Broomall, Pa.

Cleaves is a senior point guard and leader for the Spartans. He scored 18 points and had 4 assists in the final and had an incredible tournament. All of his shots came before the injury.

WHAT IS AN ANKLE SPRAIN?

According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, ankle sprains are the most common athletic injury. The bones joined in the ankle are connected by ligaments as they form a socket in which the ankle joint moves. When an ankle is sprained, a ligament is either stretched, partially torn, or completely torn. Nearly 85% of ankle sprains occur laterally, or on the outside of ankle joints. Sprains on the inside ligaments are less common.

An ankle sprain involves the stretching or tearing of a ligament around the ankle. The injury occurs when the ankle is twisted or forced to bend in directions where the tendons and muscles offer no support. There are three grades of ankle sprains, and it is expected that O'Neal has a Grade 1 sprain, while both college players have Grade 2 sprains. A Grade 1 sprain (mild) involves a stretching of the ligament without a tear. A Grade 2 (moderate) sprain usually involves a partial tear or a complete tear with moderate symptoms. A Grade 3 sprain involves a complete tear with severe swelling, tenderness, and bleeding.

DIAGNOSIS

The injury is diagnosed through clinical exam. Physicians can test the ankle for pain and flexibility, and because the injury has symptoms very similar to those of a fracture, X-rays are always taken as a precautionary measure. The degree of injury can be found by clinical exam, patient feedback, and, ultimately, an MRI.

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