John Marshall senior point guard Jason Nelson Jr., a University of Richmond basketball recruit, recently underwent surgery to repair a turf toe injury.
Nelson’s father, Jason Nelson Sr., confirmed the operation. A teammate on club team Blue Magic landed on Nelson Jr.’s foot in practice about three weeks ago. The 2019-20 Class 2 player of the year tried to play the next day, but couldn’t.
“So that’s when we knew something serious was going on,” Nelson Sr. said.
The recovery timetable is four to six months, Nelson Sr. said. That’s a significant time window for turf toe, an injury common among football players that varies widely in severity.
Nelson Sr. said the surgeon, Dr. Peter White of OrthoVirginia, told him after the surgery that the injury was worse than he’d initially suspected based on MRI results. It was a “complete rupture of the plantar plate with slightly retracted sesamoids,” Nelson Sr. said. The injury required significant surgical reconstruction.
But White also told Nelson Sr. that the procedure went well. Nelson Sr. hopes his son can make a full recovery by the time UR reports for training in June.
”I know he wants to be 100% by then, to go in and showcase his ability,” Nelson Sr. said. “But around that time, we’ll probably be in the mix of things as far as trying to get back in shape. ... Going into a new situation, not being able to go right into showcase what you can do, that’s the only downfall.”
Nelson Sr. said he’s communicated with UR staff, and they are aware of Nelson Jr.’s prognosis. Physical therapy will be the catalyst for recovery, but that won’t come for awhile, Nelson Sr. said. Doctors told them to come back in two weeks, at which time they’ll put a cast on. That will be on for four to six weeks. After the cast comes off, physical therapy can commence.
”Once physical therapy starts that will be great, everything should be downhill from there,” Nelson Sr. said.
Nelson Sr. added that this is the first major injury of his son’s career.
”I’m just trying to keep his head up until we can get back into the gym,” Nelson Sr. said.
For now, Nelson Jr. is able to do some form shooting, laying on his back. Once the cast is on, they’ll start doing stationary dribbling, seated in a chair.
“Just trying to do some things we can do so we won’t be too far behind once we start [at UR],” Nelson Sr. said.
“That’s my focus for him, not trying to get him too discouraged.”