(Video courtesy of YouTube/StocktonHeyBuddy)
Though he hid his injury well during today’s UFC/Fox press conference, Evans told TMZ last night that the cast he was wearing was protecting pins he had surgically inserted to hold his thumb in place while it heals from what UFC officials told the website is just a bad sprain he incurred in his UFC 133 win over Tito Ortiz. Rashad played the injury off as being no big deal and said it shouldn’t take long to heal, but he may be protecting his coveted title shot.
Although the technique isn’t unheard of, typically pins aren’t used to stabilize a sprain. Such surgical procedures are usually reserved for breaks or fractures near the joint where there is a risk that movement could worsen the injury.
Here’s more on thumb fractures from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons:
“Surgery may be needed, depending on the location of the fracture and the amount of movement between the broken fragments of bone. The orthopaedic surgeon may use one of several operative fixation techniques to realign the bone fragments. These fragments must be held in place while the bone heals.
These techniques include devices that hold the bone fragments in place either inside the body (internal fixation) or outside the body (external fixation). Internal fixation techniques include the use of wire, pins, plates, and screws. External fixation techniques include the use of pins in bone that are held in place through their attachment to an external fixation device.
A cast or splint will be worn for two to six weeks after surgery. When the cast is removed, hand therapy may be recommended in order to restore movement. It can take three months or more to regain full use of the hand, depending on the severity of the injury.”
Six weeks of healing time would mean Evans would be starting rehab near the end of September if all goes well with healing. Best case scenario would see him ready to get back into the gym to train with both hands by mid to late October for a December return, possibly at UFC 140 in Toronto — that is if he doesn’t hit any other setbacks or suffer any other training injuries.