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Explaining Chris Paul’s right thumb avulsion fracture

Dr. Raj, DPT delves into injury details, return timeline, and some good news

Phoenix Suns point god Chris Paul injured his right thumb vs the Houston Rockets and has been diagnosed with an “avulsion fracture”.

The injury

An avulsion fracture means a muscle/tendon chipped off a piece of bone. Based on where he was immediately grabbing, this likely an avulsion fracture on the ulnar (inner) base of this thumb.

Return Timeline

It’s been reported that CP3 will be re-evaluated in 6-8 weeks. The playoffs start in 7 weeks. According to general manager James Jones, there is a possibility that Paul returns prior to that re-evaluation point and they do expect him back for the “stretch run”.

That speaks to the point that once the injury is healed sufficiently, this becomes more of a day to day assessment where team physios are checking in with Chris to see how the thumb is responding to activity and physio. Speaking of…

Key Physio goals

The keys to his physio & return will be maintaining range of motion, restoring strength, and minimal pain during functional activities – especially important since this is his dominant right hand.

Good news

There’s two key pieces of good news. One is that surgery doesn’t sound required – he made an All-Star game cameo for example –  which means the thumb is stable which bodes well for his recovery. 

Secondly, the Suns have a 6.5 game 1st place cushion in the West which means CP3 can take his time to be 100% for the playoffs. 

I’ll keep you updated as we learn more.

Thank you for reading and thank you for your time. As a subscriber, feel free to leave any feedback and/or suggestions for future pieces.

Dr. Rajpal Brar, DPT, (@3cbperformance) is a physiotherapistmovement expertstrength and conditioning/fitness coach, sports scientist and mindfulness coach. He runs the LA and online based physiotherapy and athletic performance clinic 3CB Performance and you can subscribe to his Youtube channel (which posts a variety of sports injury, performance, and fitness related content).

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