On 18th September 2016 Harry Kane sustained an injury to his left ankle whilst playing against Sunderland. Sky Sports wanted me to comment on the nature of his injury and the time frame for recovery, which I duly did. Fortunately Harry only sustained a partial tear of the ligaments on the outside of his ankle and within 6 weeks he was back on the pitch to score against Arsenal. So how did Harry get back to full fitness so quickly?
The initial treatment of an acute ankle sprain involves the PRICE protocol (protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation) with the primary aim of reducing bleeding and swelling. Ankle range of movement would be preserved in the early stages and as the ankle starts to heal the player can start to put more pressure through the foot and commence work on their balance and muscle strength.
Hyperbaric oxygen chambers are sometimes used to assist with the healing process by exposing players to high levels of oxygen that can then be transported in the blood to the injured tissue. I can’t comment on whether Harry had this form of treatment, although it is widely used by professional athletes and clinical trials have shown healing times can be reduced by up to 30%.
By week 4 Harry had commenced training with a combination of football drills and general fitness exercises. He will have undergone rigorous assessments by the team physiotherapists before being allowed back on the pitch.