Comparing Pitta's Hip Injury To Bo Jackson's
Head Coach John Harbaugh has already announced that Dennis Pitta's hip dislocation and fracture is not career-threatening, which was a concern around Ravenstown. The injury is extremely rare and one of the few hip injuries sports fans can recall infamously ended the career of superstar Bo Jackson.
Jackson is one of very few athletes ever to excel in two different professional sports leagues. He played outfield for the Kansas City Royals and running back for the Los Angeles Raiders, and suffered his injury from a tackle in 1990.
He never resumed his football career. He wasn't the same baseball player. Ultimately, he had his hip replaced.
Experts confirmed to The Sun's Jeff Zrebiec that Pitta should be able to return to action next season. One specialist, who hasn't personally met with Pitta, even said he believed the 28-year-old veteran could play again in 2013 based off reports from the MRI.
So what is the difference between Pitta's hip injury and Jackson's?
When Jackson began the rehab process – which Pitta will start in six to eight weeks – he developed avascular necrosis, "a disease resulting from the interruption of blood supply to the femoral head," Zrebiec explained.
"In Bo Jackson's case, he had a blood supply issue, and when that happens, sometimes you can get damage to the head of the ball-and-socket joint. And when that starts to break down, then the next thing you have to do is consider doing some kind of joint replacement," Dr. Daryl Osbahr, an orthopedic surgeon at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, told Zrebiec. "In trying to resume activities, when the blood supply has been compromised, that's when you get into more of a long-term issue. The hope of someone who had a hip dislocation is taking them into surgery in a very expeditious fashion, getting the hip relocated, treating any associated injuries and then the blood supply is something that over time hopefully maintains itself."
That's exactly what the Ravens did with Pitta.
Immediately after the injury, Pitta was taken to a local hospital, where he had surgery Saturday night. Doctors removed a bone fragment and popped his hip back into place. Osbahr emphasized quick surgery can better ensure blood to the area isn't compromised.
The other important factors Pitta has in his favor are that he didn't have any ligament or cartilage damage, and doctors reportedly didn't have to cut through muscle tissue to remove the bone fragment.
"The most important thing that determines whether this athlete will recover completely or return this year is whether or not there is any damage to the soft tissues, and by that I mean the cartilage in the ball and in the socket," Dr. William Long, medical director of Orthopedic Computer Surgery Institute at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, told Zrebiec. "If it's true that the cartilage is OK, he can recover completely because a fracture can heal stronger than it was before. The cartilage, if it's damaged, you'd never recover. You don't get cartilage back."
Added Ochiai: "It's still a long road ahead of him, but with a young athlete in his prime, that should be a positive factor and help him get back out there. The biggest thing is what happened already with a fast response to the injury to stabilize the hip joint. Now is the time for rest, recovery and rehabilitation to return to health."
Ihedigbo Feels Terrible, But Shouldn't Be Blamed
Is there anyone that feels worse about Pitta's injury than safety James Ihedigbo?
He was the person defending Pitta when he went down in the end zone, but he shouldn't get the blame for the unfortunate accident.
WNST's Glenn Clark had Ihedigbo on his program to allow the seven-year veteran to clarify what really happened.
"Let's get it out of the way," Clark said. "A lot people said, 'Oh man, Ihedigbo collided with Pitta, it's his fault.' What really happened on Saturday? I know that it was eating at you a little bit afterwards."
"Yeah, you know, I felt terrible about it," Ihedigbo responded. "It's a tough thing that happened, losing such a phenomenal player as Pitta. But collision – I mean, it was more like just a jump ball. We were going for the ball in the back of the end zone. He tried to go for a great catch. He just landed awkwardly on his leg. Anytime that happens … it's one of those things that looks like a routine fall, but just the way he just twisted kind of, you know, he got hurt.
"It's kind of [a] tragedy. It's one of those things that it's a freak accident on the field, but it's the game we play. Any person can get it. It could have been me that got hurt in that situation. Unfortunately it was Dennis. We as a team, and I know me personally, [have] been praying for him every day. He's a fighter; he's going to get back to better than he was before. It just sucks that we lost him."
330-Pound Raven Shows Off Six Pack
When an ice cream truck surprisingly showed up at the end of training camp practice Monday, second-year offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele stayed far away.
That's partly because he wasn't invited to partake – only the defensive players were invited after winning practice – but also because he was concerned about maintaining his physique.
"I got to watch my figure," he said. "I can't be eating ice cream."
What good is an impressive figure if you can't show it off? And show it off Osemele did.
"I didn't know this was possible at 330 pounds. #TrainingCamp," Osemele wrote with the picture below on Instagram.
Taking muscle-flexing selfies in the mirror could lead to him getting cracked on in the locker room – right, – but K.O. is right. It's extraordinary for a 6-foot-5, 333-pounder to have a six pack, and I don't blame him for flaunting it.
In terms of Osemele's playing status, he returned to practice Monday for the first time since straining his hamstring last Thursday, per Wilson. He suffered no setbacks as the Ravens eased him back into action.
"It's so early, we wanted to make sure we have everyone healthy," Osemele said. "We're being smart with all of our starters right now. It went well. It felt great to be out there with the guys again and get comfortable at the position again. The most important thing is the mental part of it, [add?] is being sharp, so you can keep up with Joe's audibles."
Pollard Keeps Ravens' Termination Letter In Locker
Former Raven and current Titans safety Bernard Pollard still isn't over getting cut by Baltimore this offseason. And he has posted a daily reminder of that fact in his locker to fuel his fire.
NFL Network's Albert Breer tweeted a picture of the Ravens' termination letter Pollard has taped up in his locker in Tennessee.
The folks at SportsGrid transcribed the entire letter, which provides a list of reasons the club can check to explain why it decided to terminate a contract. The only checked reason on Pollard's letter:
"(X) In the judgment of the Club, your skill or performance has been unsatisfactory as compared with that of other players competing for positions on the Club's roster."
- Context to the text message above: Ed Reed said that it was already "kind of set in stone" that he wouldn't be returning to Baltimore immediately after the Super Bowl, and that's partly why he asked his former college teammate for help in getting to Houston. "There's one thing I know, Baltimore is always going to be there," Reed said. "It's not going to float off the map. I can always go back. Do I miss it a little bit? Yeah, I miss certain things about it, but that's part of life." [CSNBaltimore.com]
- Elvis Dumervil compares his former Broncos team with the Ravens: "Man, we work [in Baltimore]. You can understand why they're in it every year. They really put the work in. There's not really any magic to it. From the meetings, even walkthrough at practice, we get a lot of reps. And it's very competitive, and that brings the best out of you. You've got guys talking smack to each other, but pushing each other. That creates that chemistry when everyone is competing at a high level." [MMQB]
- Who are three players that have impressed Baltimore Beat Down's Jason Butt? "Without citing the obvious ones, the three that have stood out are Deonte Thompson, Chykie Brown and Brandon Williams," he said. And what about a notable player that has been underwhelming? "Terrence Cody needs a strong preseason to prove he still belongs in Baltimore's rotation," Butt said. "Perhaps the hip injury is still bothering him some as he's yet to show any improvement from how the 2012 season played out." [The Baltimore Sun]
- @ElamVsElo: I heard I had an imposter at the orioles game Lol... I'm too busy at camp obviously but looking forward to catching a game soon #GoOs..!
- The Ravens aren't the only ones who are trying to fill a void at the tight end position. Peter King reports on how New England is trying to do the same, "but don't expect the Patriots to be conventional in how they make up for it." Sounds similar to what the Ravens could do with Ray Rice and Kyle Juszczyk.