Clint Capela to Miss 4-6 Weeks With a Thumb Injury
In the third quarter of the Rockets’ game on Thursday, Houston added another big name onto their injury report. Clint Capela left the game with a thumb injury after a lob attempt.
News has come out today that Capela will be missing approximately 4-6 weeks with ligament damage in his thumb.
Let’s dive into the mechanics of this injury and what his return timeline may look like.
The most commonly injured ligament in the thumb with sprains is the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL). It’s located in the inside of the knuckle joint and can be injured when the thumb is stretched away from the palm. The Rockets have not specified which ligament was injured, nor will they likely do so, so the assumption here is that the UCL was most likely involved. An injury to the UCL is very painful and can cause symptoms such as instability of the thumb and weakness with grasp.
Sprains are graded according to the level of injury to the ligament and are as follows:
Grade 1 sprain (mild): ligament is stretched, not torn
Grade 2 sprain (moderate): ligament is partially torn; some limitations with function
Grade 3 sprain (severe): ligament is completely torn or has pulled away from the bone
Normally with a grade 1 or 2 sprain, the thumb is put into a splint for anywhere from 2-6 weeks. Range of motion and strengthening exercises are performed as soon as pain and swelling decrease.
Capela’s timeline has been estimated to be 4-6 weeks, depending on how well he tolerates rehab. There’s a slight possibility that he may be out longer, but I trust the Rockets’ medical staff.
In the meantime, it seems that Nene will be starting with youngins’ Isaiah Hartenstein and Marquese Chriss vying for playing time.