I wrote you a nice long response and then it dissapeared, aarrgghh.
Welcome to HW, I have found tons of info here and many wonderful people that are very nice.
I do think your drs comment is reasonable for someone with moderate activity levels but considering your level of activity I would choose to go to therapy. You may only need some guidance to start you on the right track till you feel comfortable with your progress.
I would seek out a therapy center that has PT's that are also certifed Athletic Trainers. These duel certified therapists will have an increases knowledge of what you need to get back to competative sports. The good news is that getting the flexibility and strength back in that ankle shouldnt take to long, but its important to do it correctly to avoid a stress related injury.
Going to the pool wil be very helpful for you. Ankle pumps, toe raises on steps and fast walking in the water can be helpful to increase strength and flexibility.
Good luck with your rehab and keep us posted on your progress.
DX: CRPS/RSD full body, Fibro, CP, DDD, DJD, OSA, Syringomyelia, Arachnoiditis, failed fusion. Fusions C5-6, L5-S1, hardware removal and removal of scar tissue. SCS trial successful awaiting placement.
MEDS:To many to mention, changes every week it seems.