The Detroit Pistons’ worst fears became a reality Sunday.
Officials have confirmed that starting point guard Brandon Jennings ruptured his left Achilles tendon, which occurred during Saturday night's loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Jennings fell to the floor after planting on his left leg on defense. Immediately, Jennings clutched his leg while squirming in noticeable pain.
Once the Achilles tendon is ruptured, the patients is not usually able to run, climb up stairs or stand on his toes. The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the human body, connecting the heel bone to the muscles at the back of the calf.
The road to recovery from a torn Achilles tendon is often a long one.
Once the cast is removed, patients often begin passive exercises to regain mobility in the ankle joint. Then, on to more strenuous exercises, followed by walking training about two to three months after surgery. The return to routine activities often ranges between four and six months.
The Pistons have been surging, winning 12 of their last 16 games and creeping into the Eastern Conference Playoff race. However, their hopes of crashing the playoff party may be over without Jennings, who posted 24 points and 21 assists just three days before his injury.
Jennings averaged 20 points and 7.2 assists per game while shooting 44 percent from the field and 40.4 percent from three-point range.
Jennings’ improvement under new head coach Stan Van Gundy was apparent, but now he will have to focus on coming back from one of the tougher injuries to rehabilitate. Just ask Kobe Bryant, who tore his Achilles tendon in April of 2013 and spent nearly eight months in recovery.
The Pistons’ D. J. Augustin will likely move into the starting role to try to fill some big shoes.