Tagged in: foot injury

Novak Djokovic into Italian Open quarterfinals; Rafael Nadal ousted by Denis Shapovalov

Rafael Nadal struggled with a foot injury toward the end of a 1-6, 7-5, 6-2 third-round loss to Denis Shapovalov at the Italian Open on Thursday, while rival and top-ranked Novak Djokovic eased his way into the quarterfinals.

At one point, the 35-year-old Nadal walked over and leaned on his towel box and grimaced in apparent pain. He also limped between points.

Nadal missed a large portion of last year with a left foot injury.

“I hurt my foot again with a lot of pain,” Nadal said. “I’m a player living with an injury. It’s nothing new. It’s something that is there, unfortunately. Day by day is difficult.”

It was a worrisome scene for Nadal — especially with the French Open starting in 10 days.

“What can happen in the next couple of days, I don’t know,” said Nadal, who has won Roland Garros a record 13 times. “What can happen in one week, I really don’t know now.”

Nadal returned to the tour last week following a rib stress fracture that kept him out for six weeks after a blistering start to the year that involved his record 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open.

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“It’s difficult for me to accept the situation sometimes,” Nadal said. “Can be frustrating that a lot of days I can’t practice the proper way.”

Nadal was also defeated by 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz in the quarterfinals of last week’s Madrid Open.

Nadal double-faulted twice, then missed a backhand long to hand Shapovalov a break of his serve and the second set. Shapovalov then took complete control when he won 14 consecutive points late in the third.

Nadal stated his foot started hurting midway through the second set, adding: “Then [it] wasn’t playable for me.”

Djokovic was untroubled in a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Stan Wawrinka, who was playing only his second tournament after undergoing two surgeries on his left foot.

Djokovic, a five-time champion in Rome, will next play Felix Auger-Aliassime, who ended the run of American qualifier Marcos Giron with a 6-3, 6-2 triumph. It will be the first meeting between Djokovic and Auger-Aliassime.

The loudest cheers of the day were for Jannik Sinner, the 20-year-old Italian who beat Filip Krajinovic 6-2, 7-6 (6) to reach the quarterfinals for the first time at his home tournament.

Sinner will next face Stefanos Tsitsipas, who rallied past Karen Khachanov 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 for a tour-leading 29th victory of the year.

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Jacksonville Jaguars’ Travis Etienne on track with rehab after missing ’21 with foot injury

Missing his entire rookie season because of a foot injury was rough on Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne Jr., but the 25th overall pick in 2021 managed to find a bit of a silver lining.

At least he wasn’t as fully immersed in Urban Meyer’s disastrous 11-month tenure — which ended shortly before 1 a.m. on Dec. 16 — as his teammates were.

“Just seeing the results, you’re definitely like, ‘Whew, if there was any year to miss, I missed a great one,'” he said.

Jokes aside, Etienne is happy to be back on the field for the beginning of the Jaguars’ voluntary offseason conditioning program under new head coach Doug Pederson.

He stated he’s still limited in some of his weight-room work but is doing “the majority of the stuff” in terms of on-field work and is 85-90% recovered from the Lisfranc injury to his left foot that he suffered during a preseason match last August.

He expects to be fully cleared by training camp. Etienne said the only time the injury still bothers him is after a long workout. Then it’s a little sore.

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“It’s actually crazy because I was talking to my mom about this the other day,” Etienne said. “If I didn’t know I had a screw in my foot, I couldn’t tell. I feel like that’s a testament to where I’m at in my transition and how I’m healing.

“The screw is there. I think I will take it out. I could leave it there forever. I know most guys say leave it there, it never bothers them, but I just don’t want to be 40 years old with a screw in my foot, really.”

Etienne makes light of the injury now, but he wasn’t handling things as well in the days and months after his surgery.

The pain was pretty intense in the first 48 hours, and he couldn’t put any weight on his foot for six weeks, which left him homebound and a little depressed.

It wasn’t until he was able to get back into the Jaguars’ facility to start rehab that he started feeling better.

“I didn’t realize it then, but I kind of was in a depressed state, just not being able to do the things I love to do,” Etienne said. “It was my foot, so I couldn’t do anything. So it was just really weird, and I really didn’t realize how much it took a toll on me, but having my mom there, she kind of helped me just stay in tune with myself and not let me lose myself. When I was able to get back into the building to the guys, that really helped me a lot, just seeing them each and every day and just living through them.”

It’s still too early to know how the Jaguars plan to use Etienne this season. Meyer envisioned a Percy Harvin-type role for Etienne as a rookie, which is similar to the way the San Francisco 49ers use Deebo Samuel.

Etienne said he’d be fine with that, but he might have to be the Jaguars’ feature running back early in the season if James Robinson isn’t fully recovered from the Achilles injury he suffered last December.

Regardless of how the Jaguars use him, they need him to produce the kinds of big plays he did at Clemson. The Jaguars had 31 big plays (runs of 20 or more yards and receptions of 30 or more yards) the last two seasons, which ranked last in the NFL.

Etienne was one of the most explosive players in the country during his four seasons at Clemson. He led all players in the NCAA with 55 runs of 20 or more yards from 2017 to ’20. On those big plays, he scored 21 touchdowns and rushed for 2,053 yards, an average of 37.3 yards per rush.

Etienne also had six receptions of 30 or more yards, giving him 61 explosive plays.

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Eagles lose WR Alshon Jeffery for season due to foot injury

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery will miss the rest of the season with what coach Doug Pederson called a “significant” foot injury, a source confirmed to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

NFL Network first reported that Jeffery would miss the rest of the season.

Jeffery was taken to the locker room on a cart during the second quarter of Monday’s 23-17 victory over the New York Giants. He was not contacted on the play, but left the field limping before throwing his helmet down and entering the medical tent. He then sat in the front seat of a cart that headed down the tunnel.

The injury left Carson Wentz with just two active receivers for the rest of the game: JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Greg Ward. With Nelson Agholor still dealing with a knee injury, the Eagles are expected to make a move at receiver in the near future.

They have three receivers on their practice squad, including Marken Michel, the brother of Sony Michel who had a strong offseason for the Eagles.

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This late in the season it’s difficult to bring in somebody from outside who hasn’t been in this offense either in training camp or during the season.

“We definitely have a couple guys on practice squad if we have to make a move,” Pederson said. “Obviously, we could look outside the building if we need to. But we’re going to work through that today and try to get something in place here pretty quick. We’re back on the field (Tuesday).”

Jeffery finished the season with 43 catches for 430 yards and four touchdowns. Eagles offensive lineman Lane Johnson, meanwhile, is week-to-week with an ankle injury, Pederson said. 

Halapoulivaati Vaitai substituted him at right tackle Monday and appears to be the leading candidate for the job moving forward.

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Bulls´ Otto Porter Jr. out at least 4 more weeks with small fracture in foot

The Chicago Bulls announced Friday that small forward Otto Porter Jr. underwent an MRI this week that revealed a setback in the healing of his left foot injury.

Porter is suffering from a bone edema and will be reassessed by doctors in two weeks.

The 26-year-old Porter, who is in the midst of his second season with the Bulls, has not appeared in a game since Nov. 6 and has missed the team’s past 13 contests.

Porter was originally the No. 3 overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft by the Washington Wizards. He progressively improved during his time in Washington and enjoyed his best season in 2017-18 when he averaged 14.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game while shooting 50.3 percent from the floor and 44.1 percent from three.

His numbers started to drop off last season, though, resulting in the Wizards trading him to Chicago for Jabari Parker, Bobby Portis and a 2023 second-round pick.

In 15 games with the Bulls last season, Porter averaged an impressive 17.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists. Hopes were high for Porter entering this season, but he got off to a slow start before injury struck.

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Porter is presently averaging just 11.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game while shooting 41.7 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from deep.

This season is significant for Porter and the Bulls since he has the right to opt out of his deal at the end of the season. If Porter exercises his $28.4 million option for next season, however, he can become a free agent in 2021.

Without Porter, 2018 first-round pick Chandler Hutchison was getting more playing time at small forward, but he is currently out with a shoulder injury.

Until one or both of Porter and Hutchison return, veteran Thaddeus Young will likely see some action at small forward, and the 8-14 Bulls will also continue to go small with Zach LaVine, Coby White, Tomas Satoransky and Kris Dunn all receiving ample run.

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