Albert Breer of the Boston Globe has a really interesting article on Wes Welker’s recovery from ACL surgery. Welker surprised everyone by cutting and running routes for a few minutes back on June 2. In this article, Rod Woodson and Philip Rivers talk about their own remarkable recoveries from knee operations.
Obviously, it wasn’t as easy as those men made it look. (Woodson, you may recall, tore his ACL in Week 1 of the ’95 season but came back for the Super Bowl; Rivers played with a torn ACL in the ’07 playoffs and, a few months later, was back on the field in Week 1 for the ’08 season. Both men played at a high level after their injuries.)
Here’s an excerpt:
Rivers was told it would take 18 months before his knee would feel normal again and, much as he didn’t want to believe it, that was the truth. He added that a third of his patellar tendon was removed from the front of his knee to create the ACL graft, which brought additional soreness. And he’d feel that, in his calf and quad, doing mundane things such as driving or getting a night’s sleep.
But his ability to block out pain on the field came quicker.
“It took until those preseason games the next year,’’ Rivers said. “Those were important. Even in practice, as much you did, you knew it was protected. In a live deal, it takes some time to where your mind is committed and focused on the game and the defense in front of you. You have to get through it, and realize you’ll be OK.’’
Woodson said it took him about 16 months to stop thinking about the knee completely.
“He’s got to be careful that he doesn’t overcompensate,’’ said Woodson, who made five Pro Bowl teams following the injury. “Maybe his Achilles’ is sore, because he’s running on a leg that’s not fully healed, so something happens. With your Achilles’, your quad, your hamstring, you compensate because you’re not running right.
“I remember my right Achilles’ started hurting, and that bothered me more than the knee did the next season.’’Ian Rapoport of BostonHerald.com also has a unique piece on Welker, talking about the Hermosa Beach, CA training facility where Welker is rehabbing his knee. The facility is operated by a 5’1” ex-power lifter named Jeremy “Troll” Subin and offers alternative physical and emotional exercises.
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