Duke women’s basketball took a hit Friday as Jordyn Oliver, who transferred from Baylor, tore an Achilles and is out for the season.
That’s a really serious injury but as the Chronicle points out, an Achilles is not the inevitable career ending injury it once was.
And her injury underscores something else that’s a real strength and quiet selling point for Duke athletics: superb medical care.
Oliver will get first-rate and possibly cutting edge medical care and rehab. Actually, think about that for a minute: who was the last Duke athlete who suffered an injury that caused a long-term problem? The last person we can think of is the late Jeremy Battier, Shane’s little brother, who had to quit Duke football but it may have been concussion-related. We can’t find it and can’t remember.
There’s bound to be others but the last person we can think of who had a debilitating injury was Alex O’ Connell’s dad Dave, who had terrible knee problems. But when he played, they still treated ACLs with tendons taken from cadavers.
It’s not necessarily something you market, but Duke’s supreme health care means that nearly any injury can ultimately be overcome. Consider Kyrie Irving’s foot injury. It was very complex and rare. Hasn’t bothered him since.