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Glen Davis and the Not-So-Secret Life of Being Injured

Glen Davis (Photo from LOCSY)

Why are athletes so cryptic when it comes to their injuries? KG’s knee injury and subsequent surgery quietly loomed over the final stretch of the Celtics’ 2009 season. Tom Brady’s surgery and subsequent infection made headlines, but details were scarce. Now, on a much smaller scale, the fog surrounding Glen Davis’ thumb injury and subsequent recovery is keeping us in the dark about his return to the active roster.

The initial report was that Davis would need six to eight weeks of recovery time. The incident was October 25. That means that right now we are in the midst of week No. 7, and Davis is still sporting a cast. Davis has been quoted as saying that he will be back “soon.” Does that mean Twitter soon or parcel post soon?

After seven weeks of what was supposed to be an eight week mini-vacation (although Davis has been running and feels as though he’s “getting trained for the Olympics or something”), what does soon even mean? Doc thinks that Glen might be ready to suit up at the end of December, thus slating his return for closer to ten weeks.

In the world of sports injuries, “soon” can mean a few days, weeks, or months. Most of the time, it just means soon. At least baseball takes the liberty of qualifying injuries as “day-to-day” or “on the 15 day DL.” A vague timeframe is better than no timeframe at all, especially for your fantasy team.

Rest in Peace

I suppose it’s not entirely strange that athletes are so private about the details of their recovery. Injuries are personal, and being injured is physically, mentally, and emotionally draining on a player. But shouldn’t an athlete be forthcoming with information about his return? That would give the fans something to look forward to. It would give the player himself something to look forward to. Heck, it might even dispel the media and allow the player to rest and recover in (relative) peace.

Then again, as Tiger Woods has recently reminded us, the lives of athletes are more public than ever. Although professional athletes seem to be living a fantasy, they are up to their ears in reality. Glen Davis, a minion in the sports world, hasn’t been able to do his job because he punched his friend. He made a mistake (albeit small in the grand scheme of things) and has been publicly coping for seven weeks (and counting). The intrigue of Davis’ incident has long worn off, but we remain interested in being strung along his road to recovery.

Put Yourself in His Cast

Maybe Davis doesn’t want to admit that he’s not healing as quickly or as well as he’d hoped. Maybe Davis wants to avoid the attention and constant questioning that accompany an injury. If you miss a day of work, do you have to deal with the media? “Hello world. I couldn’t make it into the office today because I tweaked an oblique yesterday replacing the jug in the water cooler. I expect to be back at my desk in a few weeks. My agent will address all further inquiries.”

No, you don’t.

Maybe Davis is reeling us in as part of a bigger plan. His injury is a ploy. Davis is wearing a fake cast, and has been for weeks. During some crucial moment in a big game he will come out of the locker room (a la Willis Reed) and inspire his teammates to victory.

Yea, I bet that’s it. But until that happens, we can rest assured that Davis will be back “soon.”

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