Turf toe is not an injury athletes want to deal with, especially a football player. It is one that can linger and linger and never fully goes away until it receives the proper rest, and therein lays the issue.
Turf toe, according to webmd.com, is a sprain to the ligaments around the big toe joint, which works primarily as a hinge to permit up and down motion. For someone, like Clemson cornerback Mark Fields, this can be an issue.
Fields says his turf toe injury has affected his lateral movement and has limited him at times in practice this spring.
“At my position, just moving laterally … It’s a real pain to move laterally,” he said. “Once I get that back right, I’ll probably start to be able to do some other things.”
However, that will not happen this spring. Fields said he suffered the injury in the first half of the national championship game against Alabama, and it is still aggravating him today. Generally, turf toe can take several weeks to a month to heal for a non-athlete, and that is if the patient is completely off the foot. However, for a football player or any athlete, the injury can linger for several months because of what they have to do in workouts and in practice.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said he has been impressed with Fields ability to still practice despite the injury. Though the junior was held out of a good part of last week’s scrimmage, he has not missed much practice time. And he tries to do all he can do.
“He’s trying to practice through it, but it’s definitely affected him some,” Swinney said. “He’s a tough guy.”
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound defensive back said he really appreciates his head coach having his back this spring.
“Yeah, that’s great,” Fields said. “I love Coach Swinney and thank him for backing me, but like I said, right now we’re just dealing with it.”
Fields admitted the turf toe is holding him out of practice from time-to-time and right now it is a day-to-day thing, which he says is a little frustrating because he is in an intense competition battle with Ryan Carter, Marcus Edmond, Trayvon Mullen and K’Von Wallace for one of the two starting cornerback spots.
“I don’t want to be the guy sitting out in the yellow jersey but it is what it is right now. I’m doing everything I need to do to get back and like I said, we’re just going to take it day-to-day.”
Fields says he is getting his treatment every day and is doing what the training staff is asking him to do. As for competing for one of the two starting spots Fields says it has been a lot of fun to go to practice this spring.
“It’s really fun because you know that every single day you have to bring you’re A-game,” he said. “Every single day is an opportunity to get better and elevate your game.”
However, in Fields’ case, he just needs some time to heal.
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