The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Mo Bamba Injury Update: Texas Freshman Misses Three Games With Toe Injury, Confident in NBA Draft

Posted by on Wednesday, April 11th, 2018


With a memorable name like Mo (Mohamed) Bamba, you know this college basketball player is bound for greatness. The 6-foot-11 center averaged 12.9 points and led the Big 12 in rebounds (10.5) and blocks (3.7). He set a new league and school freshman record with 111 blocks for the season. Despite a toe injury suffered this season, the Texas Longhorn freshman officially declared he’s leaving after his first year to enter the NBA draft. Mock drafts have him projected as the fifth overall pick. He’s not letting a pesky toe sprain keep him down. Here’s an update on Mo Bamba’s injury.

mo bamba toe injury
Texas Longhorns center Mo Bamba missed three games with a toe injury, but he’s back on his feet and entering the NBA draft. [Image Source: By University of Texas [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]

Mo Bamba Injury Update

Mo Bamba landed wrong on another player’s foot and suffered a toe sprain in the February 24th match-up against Oklahoma State. He could barely walk at half-time and sat out the rest of the game.

Sprained Toe Prognosis

Return to play after a sprained big toe can take two to four weeks for a player. Lesser toes tend to be more day-to-day but usually take a week for the pain and swelling to subside.

How Many Games Did Mo Bamba Miss With A Toe Sprain?

Bamba missed the 80-70 loss in Kansas on February 26th, the 87-79 win over West Virginia in the regular season finale on March 3rd, and the first Big 12 Tournament 68-64 win over Iowa State on March 7th.

How Many Minutes Should A Basketball Player Clock After A Toe Injury?

A conservative approach is wise, as too much play on stretched or torn ligaments can cause inflammation, leading to pain and slower healing time. “It’s a day-to-day injury based off pain level,” Bamba said on March 8th, adding that he felt “real good” in warm-ups—dramatically better from the previous week. During his 14 minutes on the court, Bamba scored 10 points, captured four rebounds, and blocked a crucial shot, though the team ultimately lost 73-69 to Texas Tech.

“The way he played, we’d loved to have him for 29-30 minutes,” University of Texas Coach Shaka Smart said after the loss. He explained that he doesn’t want to push Bamba too far at this point, fearing setbacks. Bamba was “negotiating to play more, but the trainer was negotiating for him to play less,” Smart added.

A Few Days of Rest Does A Sprained Toe Some Good

On March 11th, Bamba reported he was “back to 100%,” practicing for 30-40 of the 80 minutes before coaches finally waived him off for shooting drills in preparation for the March 16th battle against the Nashville Wolf Pack.

Broken Toes vs. Sprained Toes

One of the initial concerns patients have with a toe injury is determining whether the toe is broken or sprained. Either injury will result in bruising, swelling, tenderness, and limitations on movement. A broken toe tends to burn, tingle, or feel like a rush of warm lava is coursing through it. A sprain tends to throb or palpitate. Broken toes may bleed or display external evidence of distortion.

How Are Broken or Sprained Toes Treated?

No matter which type of injury a patient has, they are both treated the same way—rest, ice, immobilization, elevation. You want to keep weight and restrictive forces off the foot as much as you can. Anti-inflammatory medication can take the edge off the pain. A serious break may require a surgical reset or pin for stability while healing. If you live in or near NYC, the Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine staff is happy to buddy tape, splint, or otherwise immobilize an injured toe and oversee your recovery.

Possible Complications of a Sprained Toe

We wish Mo Bamba a long-lived career and would like to see him transcend from NCAA to the NBA. It’s clear he is eager to get out there and make his mark—and maybe he is, in fact, ready! The bottom line is: It’s always wise to have a toe injury treated professionally, even if you think it’s minor. If left untreated, pain can persist or recur for months. Complications like infection and arthritis are common in non-unions. Even if there are no broken bones, pain could cause you to limp around for an extended period of time, leading to the development of muscle strains, imbalances, or arthritis all the way up the kinetic chain in the ankle, knee, or hip joints. Why leave gait and fate to chance, when a few minutes with a sports medicine doctor can put your worst toe injury fears to rest?


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.