Jace Howard’s injury was misdiagnosed


ElAttrache is well-known for his Tommy John surgeries (Skubal is just one notable success). It’s cool that Jace has access to such a heavy hitter.

The story doesn’t clarify when the alleged misdiagnosis was discovered in proximity to the events of last week, but it’s interesting color.

Tarik Skubal had flexor tendon surgery, not Tommy John. FYI

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And what the article (and Jace) fail to mention as well is that it’s completely normal for there to be both; a stress injury and “a small tear” to a tendon.

The distinction isn’t some big “gotcha” that it’s being painted given the context of Jace vs the AT staff/Sanderson and whatever else.

What’s the treatment plan for a small patellar tendon tear? I bet it looks real similar to a treatment plan for a tibial stress injury give or take some weight bearing precautions.


It’s a good distinction that Skubal’s latest surgery was flexor tendon surgery. For some reason I thought ElAttrache also performed Skubal’s 2016 TJ, which was what I was referring to, but I can’t find anything to corroborate it.

Flexor tendon injuries are often related to UCL injuries, specifically flexor sprains as a precursor to UCL tears. In this case it was a happy outcome that Skubal avoided a second TJ. Skubal throws hard for a lefty and relied on a slider as his chief secondary. I’ve been glad to see the improvement in his changeup, both because he needed it for RHHs and because it takes some strain on a twice-knifed moneymaker. I thought he was a steal when DET drafted him, and last season was very gratifying as a Skubal fan.

I’m not a doctor, but as an endurance athlete that puts a lot of attention on creating healthy tendons and soft tissues, it’s my sense that after the acute stage of an injury, that the treatment plans for a stress fracture vs small tendon tear are likely to be vastly different.

Even with my limited medical knowledge, I can see a misdiagnosis could create huge issues in treatment (and result in significant frustration.)

I’m hoping Jace is finally getting a correct diagnosis, treatment plan, and is on his way back to health!

Treatment plans will not be vastly different but actually quite similar.

Assuming no surgery indicated, generally the treatment for both is rest, limited weight bearing, immobilization or some combination thereof.

The training staff also, I believe, doesn’t diagnose injuries (that’s a doctor?)

So this would seem to have little to no explanatory power in terms of “the incident”, just regarding why he’s still not on the floor

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Even further, Sanderson doesn’t do rehabilitation. The Michigan basketball team has a head Athletic Trainer and he has a full staff to carry out treatment. He’s got nothing to do with the diagnosis’, or treatment for that matter. I’m sure Sanderson would do fine because he appears to be good at his job, but that isn’t his role, to rehabilitate Jace’s injury.

Once corrective exercise switches to performance exercise, then the strength coach becomes more important, with parameters (limit certain lifts, exercise intensity, etc) given to him by the AT staff.

This whole thing is a bit silly. Jace had an injury, saw the docs, given a probable diagnosis and worked on a rehab plan with the AT staff. He wasn’t progressing as fast as he thought he should be, so then whatever happened with him and the AT and Sanderson happened.

Jace got a second opinion because he has the means to do so and they came up with the “small tendon tear.” Do we know the Michigan docs didn’t see it? Of course not. Maybe they didn’t think it was relevant. Maybe the patellar tendon was fraying because of the tibial stress injury pulling on the tendon. There’s a bunch we don’t know, but people want to feel some type of way about it.

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The incident reportedly started with a flare up between Jace and a trainer, not with Jace and Sanderson.



Wait, an article in the Free Press painted U-M in a bad light? :exploding_head: