The whole truth about Al's ankle injury is finally coming out. Unfortunately, it is Al who is telling it. On August 3 The Boston Globe had this to say, "Al Jefferson underwent minor arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle yesterday due to discomfort caused by a tendon. The procedure was more exploratory than anything else." The Herald went even further to say that the doctors found nothing. They made it sound like they operated just to make Al feel better. Now, contrast this with the real story that Scott Souza unveils in his article today (and Shira mentioned in her article on Sunday). Unfortunately, it is Al who has had to tell the true story and not the Celtics' organization who outright lied to cover their own failure. Al did indeed have bone chips in his ankle. It is convenient that they found them just as he was going to New York for a second opinion. It does make one wonder what kind of medical staff the Celtics have.
I am now pulling for Al more than ever. I am hoping that he heals quickly, which so far seems to be happening. No one should have to go through what he has because the medical staff wasn't thorough enough to correctly diagnose his problem. I hope Al comes in and has a break out season and quiets the critics for good.
WALTHAM -- Al Jefferson knew of the growing perception about him and didn't like it one bit. The thing he disliked most was that, with the recurring pain in his right ankle, he couldn't do anything about it.
At the Toshiba Vegas Summer League last month -- more than five months after spraining the ankle -- Jefferson was still having soreness. It would feel better for a few weeks, then the pain would return. He would start to move like he wanted to again, then he would have to shut it down for a few days.
The worst part was that it was an injury that was supposed to take three weeks to heal and nobody could tell him why that wasn't fully happening.
"It frustrated me a lot because a lot of people were saying that I was faking it," Jefferson said yesterday. "Or that I wasn't tough enough. This and that. But it kept giving me problems. It became a big problem over the summer. I started thinking: Damn, there's no way I will be ready for camp."
It was the week after he returned from Las Vegas when Jefferson said he reached a tipping point. Unable to walk without pain during a brief return to his home in Mississippi, he scheduled another in the series of MRIs that dated back to the original injury. He said the latest one finally did reveal significant swelling and led to a CAT scan that diagnosed bone chips in the ankle.
"That was right before I was going to New York for a second opinion," he said. "They saw it, too. Everyone agreed that I needed surgery (as soon as possible)."
That surgery was two weeks ago at New England Baptist Hospital and Jefferson said he could see an immediate difference.
"They did a lot of work on the ankle with shaving the bone and everything and they thought it would be fat or swollen afterwards," he said. "But the only way you could tell I had the surgery was the stitches."
Since getting back on his feet last week, Jefferson has spent almost every day at the team's Waltham training facility working out with the strength and conditioning staff while wearing a boot on his foot. He said he intends to keep fit so that he can return to the court within three to five weeks and be ready for the opening of training camp in October.
While the ongoing ankle pain stole nearly half of his second season, Jefferson seems to have put aside any bitterness about why it took so long to find out the source of his discomfort.
"At first I was thinking that if this was it we could have had the surgery in May or June," he said. "But it's not their fault because everybody was looking at the same (MRIs) and it didn't show up.
"I am just glad that we found the problem," he concluded. "We can put it behind us and now we can get ready for the next season."
Glad that this was finally correctly diagnosed and taken care of. It would have been disastrous if his ankle was still giving him problems this upcoming season.
He seems really upset at all the negative comments he was getting from people for not being healthy by now. I seriously hope this fuels him on to being a monstrous force on the court this season. He needs to play with a chip on his shoulder and play aggressively.