Overview of Knicks G/F Iman Shumpert’s MCL Sprain

After an MRI today, Iman Shumpert of the New York Knicks was diagnosed with a sprained MCL in his left knee.  The injury occurred in the third quarter of Wednesday night’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans.  Shumpert drove into the lane and tried stopping when he landed and twisted his left knee.  This is the same knee that he had surgery for a torn ACL towards the end of his rookie season.  Since it is a sprain, the Knicks stated that they expect Shumpert to miss two weeks.

Ligaments of the Knee
Ligaments of the Knee

The medial collateral ligament (MCL) of the knee is located on the inside surface of the knee joint.  It attaches the medial aspect of the femur to the medial aspect of the tibia as noted in the image above.  Most MCL sprains occur with bending, twisting, or quick changes of motion such as in basketball, football, and soccer.

There are three classifications of MCL sprains:

  • Grade 1: Mild pain in the area of the MCL with pressure or  valgus stress (pushing the lateral side of the knee in while pushing the inside of the ankle out) placed on the knee joint but no joint laxity.  Recovery time is usually 1 to 3 weeks
  • Grade 2: Moderate pain and edema present with some joint laxity when a valgus stress is placed on the joint.  Recovery takes about a month.
  • Grade 3: Complete tear of the ligament with severe joint laxity and instability.  Usually requires knee stabilization brace with recovery taking 4 to 6 weeks.

Fantasy Impact
J.R. Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr. will both see more playing time with Shumpert out.  Smith logged 40 minutes on Wednesday night, finishing with 19 PTS and 3 3PT.  Hardaway Jr. on the other hand has come out of the All-Star break on fire, shooting 46% from the field and scoring 23 and 16 PTS while going 7-15 from behind the arc in the past two games.


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