Why Chris Ballard, Colts no longer think Andrew Luck’s injury involves ‘small little bone’ – Indianapolis Star

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Jim Ayello


Indianapolis Star

Published 10:12 PM EDT Aug 13, 2019

The saga of Andrew Luck’s strained calf just added another layer of intrigue. Less than 24 hours after Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay told Sirius XM that a “small, little bone injury” was the root cause of his star quarterback’s calf problems, the Indianapolis Colts medical staff no longer believes that’s the case. 

While Luck indeed is among the rare few humans who has a bone in the back of his ankle, known as os trigonum, Colts General Manager Chris Ballard said during Tuesday night’s teleconference that Luck’s medical team no longer believes that’s the issue hampering Luck. 

“Because the (calf) injury wasn’t getting better, we wanted to explore the area around the lower leg that Mr. Irsay was referring to,” Ballard told members of the Indianapolis media. “It’s called the os trigonum. We thought that might have something to do with it, but as of last night, after Mr. Irsay spoke, that doesn’t appear to be the issue, and we shifted our focus to another area.

“We tested his ankle yesterday with a specific scan. He went and saw a specialist, and it led us to the area at the front of the ankle that needs to be addressed. It’s kind of high ankle-ish. That’s potentially referring to the pain he’s getting in the posterior ankle, kind of by the calf and why it’s happening.” 

Ballard assures that neither he nor Irsay nor anyone on the team has ever tried to deceive fans or the media about Luck’s injury. To kick off the news conference, he gave a play-by-play account of what the quarterback and the team have been dealing with over the past few months. 

“Like we said from the start, he’s been dealing with a calf injury,” Ballard said. “All in March through camp, he was dealing with the calf, and then the little area below his calf, which Andrew kind of referred to as his lower leg where he was feeling some pain, almost in the ankle area. … So we said, ‘OK, let’s test it.’ To test that you go into your specialist and they give you a numbing shot, and if it makes you feel better automatically better, then there’s no doubt that’s what it is. Well, that wasn’t the case. There was maybe a little relief but not a lot of relief.

“At that point, we thought that’s what it is. We’ll keep moving after X-rays, we’ll just keep moving down the same path. Then we get to camp, as we said, ‘OK, we’re going to work him back slowly and see how it was going to go. And Day 3, he comes to us and says I’m still having pain in my calf in that same area. Still having pain. That’s when we backed off and said let’s get it calmed down. And it wasn’t until a couple of days ago when we said, you know what, we need to start exploring other parts. 

That’s when the team began to explore the possibility of the os trigonum before concluding that the issue more likely lies in the front of the ankle. 

Ballard did not provide an immediate timetable for Luck’s expected return, saying it’s still too early to tell. He said he doesn’t expect Luck to play in the preseason but that it is too soon to know if No. 12 will suit up for the team’s Week 1 opener Sept. 8 against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Follow IndyStar Colts Insider Jim Ayello on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram: @jimayello. 

  • More: Doyel: Andrew Luck is still in pain and the Colts have no idea why
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  • More: Chris Ballard: Andrew Luck has ‘high ankle-ish’ injury, questionable for opener

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