Trainer Addresses Catchings’ Injury

August 3, 2007
Tamika Catchings' recent foot injury has been the talk of WNBA fans and media for over a week, and little has been said to determine a time for her return. Simply put, that answer is not known. Whether it is a week, or two, or three, Fever fans hope she returns before the WNBA Playoffs begin.

Catchings sustained the injury on the final play of the third period, during Indiana's loss to Detroit on Friday, July 20. On a rebound, she felt a "pop" when she pivoted after a rebound. There was no contact with another player. In Tamika's words, "I just planted wrong. At first, I thought my orthotics slipped. But I felt it 'pop.' I knew it wasn't going to be that simple." The next day, the Fever issued a formal announcement that the five-time All-Star would miss 2-to-3 weeks due to a partial tear of the plantar fascia in her left foot.

With the pressing question at the forefront of everyone's minds, Fever athletic trainer Holly Heitzman took a few minutes with to provide a further explanation about the injury - what it is; how it happened; how Catchings is progressing, and when she might return. How did Catchings incur the plantar fascia tear (foot injury)?
Holly Heitzman: "Tamika had some other chronic injuries in her foot that may have pre disposed her to this type of injury."
FB: What does it mean to have a torn plantar fascia?
HH: "The plantar fascia (or plantar aponeurosis) is the thick connective tissue which supports the arch of the foot. It originates at the calcaneus (heal) and expands towards the metatarsal heads (toes). It is considered a white flat tendinous expansion on the bottom of the foot."
FB: What is the difference between what Tamika has and plantar fasciitis?
HH: "Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the fascia and Tamika has a tear of the medial portion of her fascia in the arch of her foot. Plantar fasciitis is usually a chronic condition at the origin of the fascia near the heal."
How is Catchings rehabbing her foot?
HH: "Multiple methods of rehab are being utilized. Its important to reduce the inflammation and to support her arch during this process. A good biomechanical position will reduce any restrictions that may impede range of motion and promote proper healing of the fascia. Focus on a good healing environment with nutrients coming from good circulation will reduce the healing debris and improve the area for regeneration. It takes time for the cells to regenerate and heal."
Will Catchings be ready for the playoffs?
HH: "We are very hopeful that she will have a full recovery by the time playoffs are here."