The Louisville Courier-Journal’s Rick Bozich — one of the friendliest pros we’ve run across in our travels, by the way — wrote yesterday that Indiana sophomore guard Maurice Creek suffered a stress fracture in his right kneecap during the Hoosiers’ game against Michigan on Saturday. If that sounds familiar, unfortunately it’s not because you’re experiencing a deja vu right now. During IU’s 12th game last last season (Bryant, on 12/28), Creek fractured his left patella and missed the rest of the year. It looks like he’ll have to shut it down for the rest of this season, now, too. You’re reading that correctly. That’s two kneecaps — each with a fracture.
As Mr. Bozich points out in the linked article (you have to click on it and read it, as we explain below), Creek was still showing the effect of last year’s injury in that he didn’t exhibit the same quickness on drives or the same spring we saw last year when jumping off the left leg. Before going out last season, Creek was leading Indiana in scoring (16.4 PPG), points per 40 minutes (25.8), and steals (1.4 SPG) in 25.4 minutes per game. This year (through this past Saturday), Creek was fifth on the team in scoring (8.3 PPG), sixth in PP40 (16.6), and was snagging only 0.2 SPG in an average of 20 minutes per game.
The odd symmetry and style of Creek’s injuries got us thinking, and we’d like any kinesiologists out there (or anyone who knows about this stuff) to step up and bring some knowledge. Is there something about Creek’s running or jumping mechanics that makes him susceptible to such injuries? The mechanism of a patellar fracture is — just as you’d figure — usually a hard blow to the front of the knee. More rarely, you can fracture your kneecap by flexing your quads while the knee is totally bent. Bilateral kneecap breaks usually only happen in stories involving mobsters wielding baseball bats, or in traumas like falls or car crashes (which can also cause unilateral kneecap fractures, to be fair). Creek’s injuries involve two different knees at two different times, and neither of them is related to any blunt trauma to the knees. Is this coincidental?