For a time, there were a lot of talented athletes named Tyler Ennis playing in New York State. A lot as in, two, to be exact, but that’s certainly a notable enough coincidence. There was Tyler Ennis, a forward for the Buffalo Sabres. And the other Tyler Ennis was a Canadian basketball player at Syracuse University. Both were very good, and sports fans who watched both Syracuse and the Sabres got to have a laugh about the coincidence.
The basketball Ennis now plays overseas, and the hockey Ennis plays in Ottawa with the Senators. According to the two of them, they’ve never met. But their medical records certainly have and it almost made for a terrible trip to the hospital for Tyler Ennis the hockey player.
According to TSN’s Ian Mendes, both players broke their ankles back in 2018 and somehow their medical records got switched up. Ennis, who at the time was playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs, blocked a shot with his right ankle that left him with a fracture. But when the x-rays were taken, it appeared at first that he had a badly displaced bone that was much more serious than his injury actually was.
That’s because the records his doctors saw were of the basketball Tyler Ennis, who was playing overseas for Fenerbahce when he suffered a broken ankle of his own.
“They pulled up my X-ray. And they’re like ‘Woah – you’ve got a really bad displaced break here,’” Ennis said.
Ennis was confused by the severity of the situation, with the doctor making it seem as though he might have suffered a season-ending injury.
“I said to them right away, ‘But you said this wasn’t displaced,’” Ennis remembers saying at the time.
Ennis’ doctors double-checked and, sure enough, the records were from a 6-foot-3 guard on the court, not a 5-foot-9 forward on the ice.
“They double-checked and they actually had the image from the other Tyler Ennis, who broke his leg playing basketball overseas. His break was a lot worse than mine,” explained Ennis. “When they confused our X-rays, I was a little nervous. I thought my recovery was going to take a lot longer.”
The difference in the breaks was pretty severe — Ennis didn’t play for Fenerbahce for more than a year, while Ennis was back on the ice for the Leafs in a matter of months. And what’s pretty wild is that the hoops-playing Ennis, who is now with Toronto’s 905 G League team, hadn’t heard about the mixup until Mendes told him about it for the story.
“Wow. Just wow,” laughed Ennis, who is now back on the court with the Raptors 905 team. “The timing of that is just mind-blowing. I can only imagine what he was thinking.”
After suffering the gruesome injury on the basketball court on Oct 21, 2018, Ennis underwent surgery in Turkey – before returning home to Toronto to start a rigorous rehabilitation program. As part of the process, he was getting regular checkups at a hospital in Toronto at the same time as the hockey-playing Ennis suffered his ankle injury with the Leafs. So he completely understands how the mix up probably occurred.
“I was going for X-rays every couple of weeks in Toronto, so it makes perfect sense,” the basketball-playing Ennis said.
There are some funny quotes from each player about how they are confused with the other when they’re out living their lives, which makes sense. And given how they’re both from Canada it’s odd that they’ve never actually met, but Mendes mentions that could change if their schedules hold up. I’m sure they’d have a lot to talk about if they can make it happen.