Earlier Thursday a report surfaced that Missouri Shane Ray might be facing foot surgery, which would obviously impact his status as a potential first-round draft pick. A new report indicates that Ray has been told he needs rest, not surgery.
#Mizzou DE Shane Ray saw a foot specialist today. Source said doc’s recommendation was not surgery. Big news for potential 1st rounder.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 23, 2015
I'm told it was the Dallas Cowboys who flagged Shane Ray as needing foot surgery but not all teams are convinced the procedure is needed.— Tony Pauline (@TonyPauline) April 23, 2015
Shane Ray says Dr. Aakash Shah told him he does not need surgery to fix toe. Ray says some teams want him to rehab properly in early OTAs— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) April 23, 2015
In the final game of his college career, Missouri edge rusher Shane Ray suffered a foot injury -- turf toe. While the name for the injury borders on "cute", it could be a severe injury for a football player. Simply put, "Turf Toe" is a sprain of the main joint of the big toe.
We have already seen that Ray's injury has affected his draft process by keeping him out of the NFL scouting combine, and limited his athletic ability to the point that the numbers from his Pro Day workout simply do not match up with the explosive athleticism Ray has exhibited on the football field.
I bang the drum for Shane Ray as loudly as anyone, but I'm hearing more and more concerns about his foot and I think he ends up sliding.— Lance Zierlein (@LanceZierlein) April 22, 2015
@MikeOdomSports May need foot surgery. Not saying he "needs" it. That is for each team's doc to decide.— Lance Zierlein (@LanceZierlein) April 23, 2015
The lenght of his recovery, the impact on his athleticism, and the suggestion that surgery could be an option, suggest that Ray's injury could have been a Grade 3 sprain. About these injuries, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons says:
Grade 3. These more severe injuries are most often treated with immobilization for several weeks. The athlete may wear a walking boot or be put in a cast that keeps the big toe in a partially pointed down position. As the injury heals, treatment will gradually step down to Grade 2 and then to Grade 1.
Physical therapy may be helpful and should be started as soon as symptoms allow. Specific exercises will help to stretch and strengthen the big toe. Early joint movement is essential for reducing or preventing joint stiffness.
Surgery is not often necessary for treating turf toe. However, if your symptoms persist or your level of athletic play is affected, surgery may be an option. Doctors most often recommend surgery for larger Grade 3 injuries, such as:
- A severe tear of the plantar complex
- Fracture of the sesamoid Vertical instability (unusual up and down motion) of the MTP joint
- Loose bony chip in the joint Damage to the cartilage of the joint
- New or worsening bunion