In the Training Room: Colts LB Ernie Sims

Linebacker Ernie Sims has shown flashes of real promise for the Colts, but has already suffered his second injury of the short season.  Against the Houston Texans on September 11, Sims was tackled low at the side of his knees on a special teams play, resulting in a sprain.  Mercifully, TV coverage panned away as Sims was writhing in obvious pain on the ground.  (Though it was thoroughly annoying that the announcers hardly mentioned that Sims had been injured.) A few days later, Jim Caldwell declared Sims would be out for the Week 2 game against the Browns.  On Thursday, Sports Illustrated’s Will Carroll reported that the sprain was a Grade 2.  He confirmed to me that the sprain was likely to either the Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) or Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL), as the hit was taken from the side (a hit from the front or back would have impacted the ACL or PCL, respectively).  Having not seen the hit, I can only assume that it was more likely to have been the MCL, which would be consistent with someone running down the sideline and being hit from the outside (so the knee buckled to the inside).

A Grade 2 knee sprain indicates a moderate stretch and/or partial tear of the ligament.  The knee would be a bit unstable (in this case, from side to side), and it would be swollen and tender.  Based on the way Sims was writhing on the ground, I have to say I’ll be thoroughly relieved if that injury was truly only a Grade 2. Ernie Sims, LB Date of Injury: September 11, 2011 Nature of Injury: Grade 2 knee sprain Typical Rehab Process/Duration: if the MCL was the ligament damaged, recovery is the typical “RICE” – (R)est, (I)ce, (C)ompression and (E)levation.  Surgery may be required depending on the extent of the tear.  If the LCL was damaged, surgery would likely be required as the LCL does not heal well by itself.  Duration of recovery ranges from 3-6 weeks. Similar to Brackett’s situation, Caldwell knew early that Sims would be out for this coming week, and bucked tradition by actually announcing it publicly. Dr. Blue’s Prognosis – Anticipated Week to Return: Week 6 @ Cincinnati