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I'm doing a little research for myself on the Internet. I blew out my ACL last season and went through a pretty extensive rehab program. But I want to make absolutely sure I'm really ready to get out on the basketball court and not have to worry or think about that knee. Are there any special tricks I should know about?

From what you just told us, it sounds like you have completed a full rehab program under the supervision of a sports physical therapist. Have you been tested to know that you have the strength, flexibility, and motion needed for the kinds of sports activities required on the basketball court? Most competitive sports training activities are two-legged (broad jump, vertical jump, shuttle run). And those are important. But it is equally important that you include some unilateral (single-leg) hopping as well. Types of unilateral hopping include hopping forward on one leg as far as possible and landing safely on the same leg each time. A second type of hopping activity is the crossover hop. You'll need a straight line of some sort for this one. While hopping on one foot, first you hop on one side of the line, then you cross over the line and land on the opposite side. Keep hopping forward switching sides of the line that you land on. It's important to "stick" the landing (as gymnasts would say). In other words, hop and then land without wobbling or losing your balance. Hopping smoothly from side to side for the full distance is a measure of strength, power, and agility. Single-leg hopping skills are a good measure of readiness to return to full participation on the court. When athletes are tested on two-legged activities, problems are masked. It turns out that being able to hop on one leg with speed and stability is a much more sensitive and accurate way to detect significant impairments. Efforts should be made to equalize performance from side-to-side as a way to prevent future problems (including injury of the uninvolved knee).


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