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Patriots’ Amendola Nearing Return From High Ankle Sprain

After missing the final four weeks of the regular season while recovering from a high ankle sprain, Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola could be ready to return to action just in time for New England’s playoff opener against the Houston Texans on Saturday.

The only thing I’ve been focused on the past four to five weeks is to get as healthy as possible and feel as good as I can, and be available for whatever Coach (Bill Belichick) wants me to do. It’s been a long four to five weeks, but I feel good today,” Amendola said Tuesday, via Mike Reiss of

Amendola, who caught 23 passes for 243 yards and four touchdowns in 12 games this year, returned to practice last week during the Patriots’ bye week for the first time since being injured against the Los Angeles Rams in early December.

“The playoffs is what you play for, it’s why everybody’s here,” Amendola said. “It’s what we’ve been waiting on all year.”

At Delray Beach Podiatry & Boynton Beach Podiatry, Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum, a podiatric physician and surgeon with over 30 years of experience, has seen numerous high-ankle sprains throughout his tenure in medicine and can offer some insight into Amendola’s situation based on the information currently available.

High ankle sprains are described as high because they are located above the ankle. They are caused by an outward twisting of the foot and ankle and comprise approximately 15% of all ankle sprains.

According to Dr. Goldbaum, the severity of this injury often depends on how many of these structures are damaged and recovery times can vary from a few weeks to a few months.

High ankle sprains are graded on a scale of 1–3 based on their severity:

Grade 1 (Mild): In mild cases, the ligaments are somewhat stretched, resulting in joint stiffness, muscle weakness or tightness with reduced balance and joint awareness. It takes approximately six weeks for ligaments to heal from a Grade 1 sprain.

Grade 2 (Moderate): In moderate cases, there is significant ligament stretching and sometimes partial tearing. It is far more painful than a mild sprain and can make it difficult to walk. A recovery time of 6 to 12 weeks can be expected.

Grade 3 (Severe): In severe cases, the ligament can completely rupture. There is severe swelling, extensive bruising, and immense pain felt with a Grade 3 sprain. In most cases, a patient will need a screw inserted into their ankle to stabilize the area while it heals. A recovery time of 3 to 6 months can be expected.

“When looking at the information that is out there in the media right now, it’s safe to say that Amendola is likely suffering from a mild Grade 1 sprain,” Dr. Goldbaum said. “Although high ankle sprains often prove to be difficult for athletes to overcome, the fact that he likely has no serious tendon or ligament damage bodes well for his future.”

As for when he’ll be able to return to the field, Dr. Goldbaum thinks that even if Amendola returns this weekend, his injury will certainly not be 100 percent healed, meaning the training staff will have to take extra precautions before putting him in the game.

“It’s important to remember that injuries such as this are always worth keeping an eye on even after he returns,” Dr. Goldbaum said. “There is a reason that football players often re-injure the same muscles, bones and tendons, and it’s because the initial injuries are never quite return to 100 percent after they’ve occurred. Going forward, it’ll be up to the training staff to make sure that he remains healthy through preventative measures such as ankle taping.”

Follow Delray Beach Podiatry on Twitter @Delray_Podiatry

The content on this website is for informational purposes only. Do not rely or act upon information from without seeking professional medical advice. If you live in South Florida and would like a consultation with Dr. Ian Goldbaum, a podiatric physician and surgeon with over 30 years of experience, please see our contact information below:


16244 S. Military Trail #290, Delray Beach, FL 33484



8198 Jog Road #100, Boynton Beach, FL 33472




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