David Chao, MD: Minnesota Gopher Star Running Back’s Season Likely Over

The Minnesota Gophers showed a lot of promise in the 3rd quarter on Thursday. They had a lead over Ohio State, their All Big Ten running back Mohamed Ibrahim was dominating with 163 yards, and they were driving. Then disaster happened.

Ibrahim went down and limped off the field. By video, he had suffered a clear left Achilles tendon rupture.

All the classic signs of an Achilles rupture are there, including the calf ripple. Yes, the senior could “walk” off the field with an altered flat-footed gait, but he was later seen walking better with a boot on.

We are waiting for formal confirmation, but all signs point to a complete tear that will require surgery, ending his season and likely his college career. However, all is not lost. Given his young age, there is optimism that he can make a full return next year as he perhaps enters the NFL. Many projected him to be a first round selection. I anticipate he will still be a high pick, but perhaps now in the second day.

When Kevin Durant famously tore his Achilles in the NBA Finals a few years ago, many wondered whether he was worth a max contract anymore. However, I had confidence for a full return, and indeed Durant is at the top of his game again this season.

Let’s hope for the best for this young man.

Written by Dr. David Chao

David Chao, MD -- known digitally as Pro Football Doc -- is an expert contributor for Outkick. Chao spent 17 seasons as the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers (1997-2013) and is part of the medical team at OASIS in San Diego where he treats and specializes in orthopedic sports injuries, working with high-profile professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB.


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  1. This is a scary injury particularly because he doesn’t seem to be doing anything unusual here. Also, he has his ankles pretty well taped up which shows he was proactive about protecting his ankles.

    Is there anything other players can do to prevent an injury like this?

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