The administration at Missouri State University is being called upon to investigate an incident that occurred last Monday when two members of the men’s basketball team were injured during a whole-body cryotherapy treatment administered at JQH Arena.
Missouri State invited outside company Kombat Cross Training to campus to administer the treatment, which uses liquid nitrogen to supercool the body in an effort to reduce soreness following a workout and improve recovery, according to the Springfield News-Leader.
While the entire men’s team and several members of the women’s basketball team participated in the treatment, student-athletes Reggie Scurry and Abdul Fofana developed foot blisters as a result of the therapy and were sidelined during Missouri State's Tuesday game.
At a press conference Friday, men’s basketball head coach Paul Lusk told reporters that the injuries are “rather serious but nothing long-term,” and both players will likely sit out for a couple of weeks.
Missouri State athletic director Kyle Moats has said that he was unaware that the team was participating in the treatment, but was unconcerned that it went on without his knowledge. He did however assert that there will not be a repeat attempt.
In response to questions regarding the overall safety and efficacy of the treatment, both Lusk and Moats pointed to the therapy’s widespread use among university athletics programs and professional athletes alike.
On Thursday, the News-Leader interviewed Dr. Bruce Y. Lee of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who cautioned that cryotherapy machines have the potential to cause severe injury, while many businesses that offer the treatment are not well regulated.
"Right now,” said Moats, “we're just investigating and trying to find out what happened.”