The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

NBA News: Kyrie Irving Sprains Foot

Posted by on Wednesday, May 27th, 2015


Kyrie Irving is not one to be slowed down by injury. While the point guard suffered a bad toe ligament injury that sidelined him for nearly his entire freshman season at Duke, he’s also the sort of guy who’ll play through NBA games wearing a protective mask for his broken jaw. The high point of Irving’s career was the 57 points he scored on March 12th, which included a three-pointer at the buzzer, which took the Cleveland Cavaliers into overtime and enabled their 128-125 win against the San Antonio Spurs. Now that his team has defeated the Celtics and the Bulls to face the Atlanta Hawks in the semi-finals, the last thing they want to hear is that one of their big stars has a sprained foot.

kyrie irving foot
Kyrie Irving sprained his foot and injured his knee, which has begun to affect his playing in the Atlanta series. Image Source:

How Kyrie Irving Lost His Groove

A May 11th MRI confirmed that Kyrie Irving sprained his right foot, which coach David Blatt said happened during the first-round series against the Boston Celtics. Since sustaining the injury, he has yet to play less than 27 minutes per game, but it’s a frustrating time for Irving. He scored just 10 points in game one against the Atlanta Hawks. “I just don’t have it,” he told reporters, adding: “The most frustrating thing is seeing holes in the defenses that I’m used to attacking,” he said. “I tried to make one move and I accelerated and then I stopped and passed it.”

Foot sprains are a common injury in basketball, as they occur when the foot lands awkwardly or when the body pivots while the foot stays in place. Football players, dancers and snowboarders also suffer a lot of mid-foot ligament stretches and tears. There are three different grades of sprain — Grade I (minor microscopic tears in the ligaments), Grade II (large tears in the ligaments), and Grade III (completely torn ligaments).

Players with foot sprains feel as though there is a very deep bruise on the arch, although the pain may extend to the top and the sides of the foot as well. Like most foot injuries, some swelling is to be expected, and the pain intensifies during activity. Usually the player can still bear weight, unless there has been a Grade III sprain.

NY Foot Sprain Treatment

Immediately following your injury, you can stabilize the ligaments by resting, icing 2-3 times a day, keeping your foot propped on pillows above the heart to stop swelling, and taking ibuprofen, naproxen or acetaminophen for pain. All sprains should be evaluated by a professional to assess the extent of the damage and make sure the bones are not fractured and the cartilage has not been adversely affected.

Our board-certified New York City podiatrists are fully equipped to perform a physical examination and conduct all necessary diagnostic tests. We help patients with range-of-motion, flexibility, balance and strength-training exercises that help strengthen your feet, restore mobility, and prevent future injury. We’ll also counsel you on choosing the right stiff-soled footwear to stabilize the foot. When pain is severe, we can treat symptoms with the MLS laser or ultrasound therapy.

Minor to moderate foot sprains typically heal in two to four weeks, while complete tears take up to eight weeks to heal and usually require casting or splinting. Our NYC podiatrists have seen some extensive bone and ligament injuries take up to eight months for full return to pre-injury level functionality. Once the swelling has gone down and the pain subsides, you can slowly increase your activity. Expect some stiffness initially.

Prognosis For Foot Sprains Improves With Professional Care

The outlook for healing is good, but long-term complications may include chronic pain, a fallen arch or arthritis. In these cases, surgery may be your only option to restore quality of life. So, you see, it’s best to work with a podiatric specialist, rather than trying to self-diagnose and hoping for the best. Contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in Manhattan at 212-996-1900. We have experience in treating this type of injury among amateur and professional basketball players and sympathize with your need to get back to the game as soon as possible.


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.