Health and fitness

Dr. Flynn’s Mailbag: Hits on Tom Brady, and comebacks by Edelman and Hayward

(Adam Richins for BSJ)

Happy weekend, everyone! I really appreciate the thoughtful questions this week. Would love to hear from you for future editions, so make sure you check out the contact information at the bottom of the page and send some more good ones my way!

We’ll start with some follow-up questions on Tom Brady’s health, hit on expectations for Julian Edelman’s return, Matthew Slater update, the downside of training at altitude, and finish up with a check-in on Gordon Hayward’s recovery progress. Let’s get to it.

Question on Brady, less on injuries more on the general impact of being hit.  Aside from the obvious of a specific hit on a specific location, can you provide some detail on what is happening medically with these impacts and how it can affect performance? (Patriots Fan, @ButlerPick)

I don’t know if I have a very scientific answer to this one, Patriots Fan. You alluded to each hit being a risk for specific injuries - arm laceration, falling on a specific shoulder, possibly tweaking an ankle. Head injuries are always a concern with either one significant or multiple smaller hits. The majority of hits lead to bumps and bruises and those can certainly be painful and impact recovery week to week. I share Greg Bedard’s concern over the number of hits that Brady has seen so far this season, not because there is some additive effect of the hits, but more that each contact is a chance for a season-ending injury.

How long does it take a sore Achilles to heal? Is it possible to heal while playing? Or is that not realistic? (Robert Snell, @robertsnell7)