One of the most common injuries in sport, an ankle sprain can put you out of action for anything from a few days to several weeks.
Footballers are highly prone to ankle sprains, either from a hard tackle, or simply from going over on the joint on rough or uneven ground.
Common symptoms of an ankle sprain include pain around the joint, and swelling. In many cases the swelling can be considerable - the pain will also vary greatly.
The first course of action is to immediately stop playing and follow the RICE protocol - rest, ice, compression and elevation. This will certainly be effective in reducing pain and getting the initial swelling down, and will then allow a more complete diagnosis to be made.
If the injury is extremely painful, or does not resolve improve in a couple of days, you will need to consult a doctor or sports medicine specialist. They will want to know your history of injury and how the injury occurred, then conduct a physical examination. In some cases they may also want x-rays to rule out (or confirm) any breaks or fractures.
Depending on the diagnosis, you may need to wear an ankle support or even a removable plastic cast for protection. You will also need a program of physiotherapy to increase strength and flexibility - this might include the use of wobble boards and plyometric exercises to improve proprioception.