The NBA’s Joakim Noah says he knows how devastating a plantar fascia injury can be, so this time he’s not taking any chances with his recovery.
Noah first developed plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the ligament underneath the foot that causes extreme pain, in his left foot in the 2009-2010 season under coach Vinny Del Negro. The center mistakenly thought he could play through the pain, causing further injury that eventually took him out off the court for weeks.
Now that the condition has occurred in his right foot, Noah says he’s not going to push it this time.
‘‘I definitely feel you learn from your experiences,’’ Noah said. ‘‘In ’09-’10 I just tried to act like it wasn’t there. I played through it and it was a mistake. I probably played with it for a month until I couldn’t anymore.”
The initial injury caused a lot of agony and frustration—and not just for Noah. The center sat out 18 games in the ’09-’10 season—and when he was able to return, his minutes on the court were severely limited. The play restrictions led to an altercation between Del Negro and John Paxson, causing a rift in the relationship between the Bulls’ coach and general manager.
While Noah has been attending practices, he has been focused on shooting and is careful not to do any running or jumping. He has been off the court for three consecutive games, and has been resting the foot, icing it frequently, and is getting laser treatments to relieve the pain.
‘‘I stopped a lot earlier [this time]. I probably played on it for 5-6 games. I just knew what direction it was going. I feel like with a couple of more days of treatment, I’ll be OK,’’ Noah said.