The gushing reports about Tua Tagovailoa’s return from hip injury can be chalked up to normal offseason fluff, or they are an indication of how bad his hip injury really was.
At every turn this year, there has been a positive report about Tagovailoa’s recovery from a hip injury that ended his college career at the University of Alabama. That positivity is a reason the Miami Dolphins selected Tagovailoa with the fifth pick of April’s draft.
A new report from the South Florida Sun Sentinel took it to a new level, with Tagovailoa’s physical therapist terming the progress “miraculous.” And still, it seems Tagovailoa’s availability to start Week 1 is in doubt. If we take the quotes about his recovery at face value, that tells you how serious the injury was.
Tua Tagovailoa’s recovery going well
The good news is that by all accounts, Tagovailoa is doing just fine.
“The miraculous part is that he healed so well,” Kevin Wilk, a physical therapist who has been working with Tagovailoa, told the Sun Sentinel’s Safid Deen. “The second part is, he’s been [doing] so well at getting his strength back, which usually takes a long time after something like this.”
Tagovailoa has been working out his hip, ankles (which he has had surgeries on) and his left shoulder to maintain arm strength. The hip is what everyone is concerned about. He suffered a dislocated right hip that included a posterior wall fracture. There was concern about his football future.
It seems like that worry has subsided. But the timing of Tagovailoa’s NFL debut is still up in the air. The fact that his Week 1 availability is a question even with a “miraculous” recovery speaks to how bad the injury was.
Tagovailoa still needs to test hip in practice
There are almost three months before the Dolphins’ season is scheduled to start, and normally there is no shortage of optimism for injured NFL players in June. Still, even in a story that quotes Tagovailoa’s physical therapist as saying his recovery is a miracle, the enthusiasm slows down when it comes to starting in Week 1.
“He’s in shape now, but he’s not in South Florida football shape,” Wilk told the Sun Sentinel.
The unusual offseason hasn’t helped. Tagovailoa hasn’t had minicamps to test himself out in football situations. Deen wrote that projecting Tagovailoa’s availability for Week 1 would be “wildly optimistic.”
“I don’t want to make it sound like he’s far away, but it is a lot of steps from now to then for opening day or Game 1. But so far, so good,” Wilk told the Sun Sentinel.
The question will be asked repeatedly before early September. It will be one of the biggest questions through Dolphins training camp and preseason. If Tagovailoa is able to start the opener, that seems like it was be truly miraculous.
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