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Malik Hooker: Injury and Analysis on Potential Jets Draft Target

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NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Ohio State vs Clemson David Kadlubowski-USA TODAY Sports

With the draft coming up, one of the potential prospects the Jets may take is Ohio State DB Malik Hooker. Hooker was unable to participate in the combine last week due to surgeries repairing a torn hip labrum and hernia that he supposedly played through late last season. This article will talk about the recovery process from both surgeries and whether that will affect him draft stock.

What are the surgeries?

The labrum is cartilage in the socket of your shoulders and hips that deepens the socket to stabilize the joint while increasing the surface area of the hip socket to distribute the amount of pressure it absorbs from walking/running. The hip labrum is most commonly torn when the hip is flexed and rotated (i.e pivoting on one leg).

Meanwhile, he also experienced a sports hernia. A sports hernia is unlike a traditional hernia (when an organ pushes through the muscle covering it) as this type is a tear of a muscle and/or ligament in the groin area.

Both surgeries essentially require making small incisions and using cameras to suture the tear (essentially sewing it back together).

What is the time table for recovery?

With regards to a sports hernia, studies show that approximately 75% of athletes return to pre-injury sports activity a month after the procedure. However, this timeline will be significantly longer as the typical recovery for a hip labral repair is 3-4 months.

Recovery following a hip labral repair requires 4-6 weeks of rehab to protect the newly repaired cartilage. After this initial period (where the primary focus is to regain range of motion, strength, and joint mobility), advanced strength training and sports-related activities will slowly be reintegrated. Doctors may place movement and weight bearing restrictions immediately after surgery however as the restrictions get lifted, the athlete can work towards normalizing their gait (walking) pattern. Once normalized, focus will shift towards balance, strengthening the core, and basic movement patterns (squats, lunges, dead lifts) without weight. As these aspects improve, the athlete will begin training dynamic stability (the ability to stabilize the body after moving, i.e. jumping and landing without falling). The athlete will also start running again prior to initiating basic agility drills in attempt to return to sports-related tasks. Ultimately, these higher level activities will not start until about the 12 week mark and then it typically takes a few more weeks to return to “game shape”.

Overall, Hooker is looking at a 4 month rehabilitation process from start to finish making him ready for training camp, barring any setbacks.