Joakim Noah battling foot problem
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
Plantar fasciitis has turned into an epidemic in the Chicago Bulls-Brooklyn Nets series.
The painful foot condition limited Bulls center Joakim Noah’s minutes in Game 1 and Game 2, and Nets guard Joe Johnson is a gametime decision with the same injury for Game 3 Thursday (8:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV).
“It really sucks,” Noah told reporters on Wednesday. “If feels like you have needles underneath your foot while you’re playing. You need to run, you need to jump (and) you need to do a lot of things while you’re playing basketball. So you don’t want needles on your feet, right?
“It’s not easy, but that the end of the day, you do what you’ve got to do. I’m just trying to stay focused on getting better every day.”
The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue on the bottom of the foot, stretching from heel to toes. Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of that tissue, causing pain. At its most debilitating, plantar fasciitis makes it difficult to walk, let alone run and play basketball.
Asked how his right foot felt after scoring 11 points and collecting 10 rebounds in Chicago’s 90-82 victory in Game 2 on Monday, Noah replied, sarcasm oozing, “It feels great.”
Of playing through the pain, Noah said, “Just trying to find a way.”
Dr. Steven Weinfeld, an orthopaedic surgeon and chief of the Foot and Ankle Service at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, said the most common description for plantar fasciitis is “a very sharp pain like they’re being stabbed with a knife.”
“For the acute inflammation, a combination of oral anti-inflammatories, ice and probably a cortisone injection would probably be the things to try and get him as comfortable as quickly as possible,” Weinfeld said.
Weinfeld said cortisone shots are given judiciously because of side effects, including the dissolving of necessary fat in the heel and ligament damage leading to a ruptured plantar fascia. Stretching exercises and a splint worn at night to help stretch the fascia are other treatments. Rest is another option. Except for Noah. There’s no time for rest now.
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