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Nesbitt plays despite a nagging injury

BY JON FRANK | FEBRUARY 10, 2011 7:10 AM

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Mornings are excruciating for Trisha Nesbitt.

Getting out of bed comes with sharp pains in her right foot.

After suffering a partially torn plantar fascia in October 2010, the sophomore guard still contends with the aftermath of the injury and consequentially has seen fewer minutes in games.

“The biggest complaint is usually feeling like they stepped on a nail first thing in the morning,” said women’s basketball athletics trainer Jennie Sertterh, who has overseen Nesbitt’s recovery.

Sertterh said the pain is the worst during the morning because the foot cramps up and is inactive for several hours.

Last season, Nesbitt was the first player off the bench. This season, the Ames native is just fighting to stay healthy.

“When I tore it, it had pulled a few times and then it tore all the way,” she said.

Her injury — which she said has caused her more pain than either of the two meniscus tears she suffered previously — caused the 5-6 guard to miss the season-opener against Southern on Nov. 12.

She didn’t see action until two months later, when she played four minutes in a 60-53 loss against Michigan.

The sophomore’s role has increased since then, but she still contends with swelling and foot cramps every day.

“Unfortunately, a plantar fascia is a long process to truly get over,” Sertterh said. “She was in a cast for about two and a half weeks … It was a good six more weeks until she started seeing the court.”

Prior to October’s setback, Nesbitt had suffered a torn plantar fascia in July. After cortisone injections, stretching, and rest, the 19-year-old was on schedule for a timely return. And then it happened again.

“It is hard because the way I tore it the second time,” she said. “I was pushing back on defense, trying to stop a drive. The way I tore it the first time was when I was on a drive. So it’s like everything I do, every push-off, it makes me a little nervous.”

The second setback necessitated a different road to recovery.

“Our physician felt like we’ve done everything possible; we need to just shut her down,” Sertterh said.

After getting clearance to play, Nesbitt returned to practice. However, her level of activity is determined by the amount of pain in her foot.

The backup guard regularly takes days off to rest.

“[We ice and massage her] at least once a day,” Sertterh said. “But she ices on her own multiple times a day.”

Sertterh said that Nesbitt’s injury is unable to fully heal because of her high level of activity. The goal for trainers is instead to limit the amount of pain Nesbitt endures.

“Every time I go out and have to go back in, if I’ve been sitting there for a while it’s usually tightened up a little bit,” Nesbitt said. “I just try to keep it moving during time-outs and while I’m sitting on the bench so I won’t feel the pain. But usually when I go in it takes a little bit for it to get warmed up.”

Despite all the pain and extra work Nesbitt has committed to rehabbing and protecting her foot, she’s far from 100 percent.

“What I would like to see from Trisha, obviously, is to get back to where she was last year, backing up our point guard, coming in, playing great defense,” head coach Lisa Bluder said in a press conference on Jan. 16. “I thought last year that there was times where she was our second-best perimeter defense player. You know, is she there yet? No. She’s got a ways to go. It’s hard to get back into shape at this time of the year.”


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