Injuries in professional sports can be ugly. Sometimes they can be worse than that. In fact injuries can often highlight a players career as much as what he does healthy. Very few NFL fans can erase the image of Joe Theismann’s career ending sack by Lawrence Taylor and the broken leg he suffered. NaVorro Bowmans broken leg, pucks to the face, gashes by skates, broken ankles, sliced fingers, when it comes to sports, anything can happen.
Over the weekend Paul George of the Indiana Pacers was playing in a Team U.S.A. scrimmage when he suffered a gruesome broken leg. The injury is far from the first of it’s kind but after practice today, former Ohio State wide-receiver and veteran Miami Dolphin passed along some encouragement for George.
“I’m not putting any kind of words in Paul George’s mind or what he’s going through,” Hartline cautioned after practice Monday. “I just know what I went through. You’re kind of on top of the world at one point and it really knocks you down and you realize how (quickly) it can be taken away. And when you’re in the situation you kind of look down and you see your leg and you start analyzing, this can’t be real. It looks horrendous. So you think the worst. You think that your career is over. And, sure enough, you find out you just get back to the grind, the doctors do their thing and you find out the nuts and bolts, and bones how they heal are better than any ligament or tendon you’re going to have. So I came back stronger. You put in the work. … It worked for me fine. I got stronger from it, whether it was just the whole rehabilitation or the fact that I was 17, 18 years old and I was still growing. Regardless I think I came out of it a stronger athlete.”
Hartline suffered a two bone fracture to his leg during his senior year in high-school. It would have been easy to give up but instead he pushed through and became a major part of the Ohio State Buckeye offense and has since flourished in Miami with two back to back 1,000 yard seasons.
It’s unknown how long or what long term effects the fracture will have on Georges’ career but he can at least take comfort in knowing that he can return.