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Shaquille O'Neal, Kristen Clement, Mateen Cleaves

RECOVERY

The recovery period for sprained ankles is usually around 3-6 weeks. This includes 7-14 days of immobilization and a slow program to regain strength and stability. There will probably be a period of 'rustiness' and a possible lack of some strength once the athlete returns to the game. In more severe cases, ligaments may require more healing time to promote ankle stability. Repeated ankle sprains may cause chronic instability, interfering with walking or sports activities. In this case, the physician may recommend a surgical procedure to tighten or create new ligaments around the ankle joint to re-establish its stability.

LONG-TERM OUTLOOK

This is an injury that can often recur. However, there is a very slim chance of the injury soon recurring for the two college athletes because the injuries occurred prior to their final games of the year. With proper rest, O'Neal should be at full strength for the NBA playoffs. If the athlete allows the injury to fully heal, the chance of reinjury greatly declines.

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