By Abby Sims
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Andre Brown, the Giants’ backup running back, was quoted as saying that because the leg fracture he sustained in Thursday night’s exhibition game is so small, he expects to be back on the field in two weeks. Don’t count on it.
Six weeks is likely to be the minimum.
Brown, who missed his rookie season as a Giant in 2009 with a ruptured left Achilles, reportedly took a helmet to the leg this go-round, causing his second left fibula fracture in as many years. The fibula is the thin bone at the outer aspect of the lower leg, running from below the knee to the ankle. Though he may have been able to bear weight on the limb, even saying he could jog, a fracture still creates significant weakness in the bone and should get the time it needs to mend. Brown, who wants to remain on the active roster, is overestimating his ability to heal.
Non-displaced fractures typically mend fully in four weeks, while those that entail more disruption to the bone can take longer. Fractures that have delayed healing are called non-union fractures.
The good news for Brown is that a “small crack” in the bone means that there is no displacement, and the bone remains in good alignment. That, in turn, means that no surgery is required. However, at the very least, the player will be in a walking boot and may be required to use crutches for a bit to allow the limb to be non-weight-bearing.
It is only after the bone has healed that Brown will be able to more aggressively strengthen the surrounding muscles and return to running and cutting drills. As with all injuries, he will be particularly vulnerable to recurrence or compensatory injuries should his return be premature. With Brown’s injury history, rushing things isn’t in anyone’s best interest.
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