Jeremy Lin could hardly have sustained a worse injury than the hamstring hit the Brooklyn Nets guard sustained five games into the 2016-17 season. With the big contract and long hoped-for chance to start, Lin has plenty of weight on his shoulders in Brooklyn, even though the team is only cautiously optimistic about improving in the short term. But that urge to play and prove himself — while part of what makes Lin so special — is a powder keg combined with a hamstring injury, one of the most intransigent maladies in sports. Bones heal and even ligaments these days can be surgically repaired, meaning an ACL tear is no longer a career killer. But the hamstring is a mean master. It requires bountiful rest to heal and impatience is recovery’s enemy. And Lin, the Nets and Nets fans are all at least a little impatient, despite what their intellects tell them.
Lin injured his left hamstring again this week, just two weeks after his return from the first hamstring injury. Nets sources are saying Lin injured a “different part” of his hamstring, so it’s technically not a “reinjury” — but that’s probably splitting hairs. Besides, injuries often occur elsewhere as an athlete compensates to protect an existing injury, even if the athlete is unaware of the compensation. As 2paragraphs wrote in early November after Lin’s first injury:
“A Columbia University study showed that the re-injury risk on hamstring injuries can reach 31%. In the study, which focused on Major League Baseball, a reported 25% of those injuring hamstrings were out of action for “1 month or longer.” The biggest problem with hamstring injuries is they tend to turn chronic, especially if the athlete returns too early — a temptation Lin will need discipline to avoid.”