Oklahoma City Thunder Andre Roberson Injury Discussion

It has not been a great last two days for the NBA. They have lost DeMarcus Cousins to the entire season with a completely torn achilles tendon last night during a game against the Houston Rockets. Today, the Memphis Grizzlies have lost Michael Conley Jr. for the entire season to a heel injury. And in Oklahoma City just loss defensive specialist Andre Roberson to a ruptured patellar ligament (or tendon depending on who you debate with) that occurred on a routine alley-oop.

By no means did he slip. Taking a bad bump is an afterthought with him landing on his bak. You can clearly see something went wrong. And that his season is over and possibly parts of the 2018-2019 NBA Season, as well.

Anatomy Review:


First lets review the difference between Ligament and Tendon:
Ligament – attaches bone to bone (most cases two different bones)
Tendon – connects muscle to bone

So with that said it can be a little confusing as to what the Patellar tendon is. But in this case it is the connection between the Patella bone and the tibia (the primary lower leg bone).


In this case patellar ruptures are caused by a quick high force that the patella could not withstand. It can be caused by other underlying problems (systemic disease) but this was a traumatic jumping event.

What I Could Do:

Well right now there isn’t much for me to do. He’s going to locked up in a brace for several weeks to allow the sutures to heal and to protect the knee. He’s not weight-bearing at all.

As in many of the posts I’ve talked about is that I can help assist with regaining range of of motion (passive and active) in his knee. He won’t be able to start weight-bearing for several weeks.

A lot of the initial work would be soft tissue based via Active Release Technique or Graston. The soft tissue work will help affect the scar tissue and adhesions that have formed through the recovery process following surgery. We want to influence the tissue and have it not be stiff and rigid.

Not only do we have to work with the knee but starting to regain strength in his hip and lower leg/ankle will be important in his rehabilitation as well. We can begin to assist with low level isometric hip work as well.


My Take:

Well he’s out for the year and I think he’ll miss part of the 2018-2019 NBA Season. While complete recovery to civilian life could be six months, there have been situations that I’ve seen first hand in PT settings that it could potentially take 12 months. Andre Roberson is a professional athlete. I think he’ll hit the 6-8 month span to get back to being functional but for basketball shape and trust in his knee. He not only has to go through stages and training to be generally prepared to be an athlete (general physical preparation) but to be in sports specific shape it could take a few more months. I think he’ll miss the first part of the season and return around Christmas time for the “start” of the NBA Season.

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