July 15, 2010

Lighty close to full recovery

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The first time Ohio State senior David Lighty broke his foot it came in a home non-conference game against Jacksonville in 2008 where he finished it out by scoring 21 points, his career-high then.

So it is no wonder when he suffered the same injury in mid-may after landing on fellow Buckeye Jon Diebler's foot - which resulted in a fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his left foot - he didn't initially realize the severity.

"No, for some reason when I get hurt I never know (how bad it is)," Lighty said. "I thought I twisted my ankle and I tied my shoe up tighter and kept playing."

Just like the first time with the injury, Lighty felt as if he was playing quite well in the summer open-gym game that consistent of competition against current players and former Buckeyes, some of which have played professional basketball.

But after the game, Lighty said, he went down to the trainer's office and found out the bad news.

"I took my shoe off and sock off and my ankle was fine, it wasn't swelling at all, but my foot was (swelling) down by where my foot broke," Lighty said. "I was down for about twenty seconds, I was a little mad, but after that is just you know go own with life pretty much. You can't do anything about it, so why worry about it."

And that's been the mind frame since the injury occurred.

Lighty was expected to miss anywhere between 8-10 weeks while the foot recovered and now is expecting to return to the Buckeyes in a full capacity in August.

"I think he is handling it a lot better than anyone else would have," Diebler said. "That's got to be extremely frustrating. He stepped on my foot and I felt terrible. I couldn't imagine how he felt, but I felt absolutely horrible.

"Dave is a guy where is always going to do what he can to stay in shape and keep getting stronger," Diebler continued. "Even though he is not able to participate, he is up in the morning the same time we are riding the bike, he is at shootaround every time we are working on his ball handling and shooting foul shots or whatever. He is always going to do something to make him better."

While it may seem as if he was more prone to the same injury again having already fractured his foot in the same spot, Lighty said the accident was more of a coincidence.

"It was a fluke thing," Lighty explained. "I actually stepped on Jon's foot in open gym and my foot is turned and I tried to plant off of it while it was turned and it was all that pressure on the side of it."

Lighty took a medical redshirt two years ago after suffering from the same injury early in the year, but the senior guard said the rehab for his current injury is the fairly similar to what he has already gone through less than two years ago.

Last season as a starter Lighty averaged 12.6 points per game, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.6 steals and was the defensive leader for the Buckeyes.

He returns for his final season at Ohio State and will be one of the players that will carry the leadership torch now that Evan Turner is no longer with the program after being drafted No. 2 overall by the Philadelphia 76ers just weeks ago.

"It is kind of getting to me now that I am getting closer and closer to coming back but I mean that's all you can do is handle it with a positive attitude," Lighty said. "That's all I try to do. Sometime in August I know I will be back, hopefully the sooner in August the better."

Ari Wasserman is a staff writer for BuckeyeGrove.com. He can be reached at Ari@BuckeyeGrove.com.

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