There’s nothing more harrowing for avid sports fans than seeing your favorite player or superstar injured. Worse yet, the long wait for detailed updates about an injury can be incredibly worrisome. You don’t know how bad the damage is or what happened. You don’t know how long the player is going to be out of the game. What will the team do without them, especially in the case of team leaders or superstars?
That’s exactly what happened for fans of running back Todd Gurley and the Los Angeles Rams.
In December 2018, Gurley announced he had injured his knee during the Week 1 game against the Oakland Raiders. As a result, he missed the final two regular-season games and played a diminished role during the postseason — especially in the Super Bowl against the Patriots. This is despite the fact that Gurley and coach Sean McVay assured everyone he was 100 percent healthy heading into the postseason.
As it would eventually turn out, he was not healthy, but he still spent time on the field and the injury has worsened. In fact, now Gurley and crew have admitted he has arthritis in the knee, and the problem is more serious than anyone made it out to be previously.
The knee problems have actually followed him since he was drafted back in 2015. He has previously torn his ACL during his time with Georgia.
What Treatment Is Gurley Looking At?
Rest and rehabilitation are necessary to cut down on the inflammation and more extreme problems that stem from active arthritis. While it may never go away completely, there are some things he can do to improve the situation.
Rams coach McVay has discussed the idea of a unique stem cell procedure to treat Gurley’s current knee problems. Both Jamaal Charles and Chris Johnson have undergone the same operation in the past with positive results.
Stem cells are nondifferentiated cells that reside in bone marrow or adipose tissue and offer exceptional healing properties under certain conditions. These treatments commonly involve bone marrow extractions, where the tissue is siphoned — which contains the stem cells — and then injected into an affected area. In Gurley’s case, bone marrow will be extracted from the iliac crest in the pelvis region, after which it will be injected into his knee.
The entire operation will improve the healing of Gurley’s knee and strengthen the cartilage, likely responsible for his major problems, including inflammation.
While this kind of treatment is becoming more popular across the NFL, there is not enough research available to prove it’s both safe and effective. Clearly, that’s not going to stop Gurley from getting the treatment, especially since this operation is less invasive than other choices.
How Can Gurley Stay Safe Over the Summer?
Before any treatments or operations, Gurley and crew will need to keep a close eye on the injury to ensure it doesn’t worsen. Not only does that mean taking it easy where applicable, but it also means practicing and spending time in the appropriate conditions.
Practicing within the walls of an indoor sports facility would afford him ample support while also allowing him to hone his skills and experience. They offer much more stringent climate controls, the environment itself is safer — including the track and turf — and there’s ample room to relax or rest up when he’s taking a break. Gurley will definitely need to get out of the sun and heat if he wants to keep his knee and arthritis in check.
Regardless, let’s hope Gurley gets the right treatment and plenty of rest so he can get back out on that field and continue playing at the top of his form.