Top orthopedic surgeon delivers bad news about the rest of Carson Wentz's career
About a month after Carson Wentz underwent surgery on his left knee, the Eagles quarterback let on that in addition to tearing his ACL, he also tore his LCL so two ligaments were reconstructed.
Wentz also said at the time that he was hopeful he would be ready for Week 1 of the 2018 season.
It is his knee so his belief does carry weight, but an expert on these types of injuries says Wentz is overly optimistic. He seriously doubts Wentz will be ready at the start of the season.
“The meter has changed from ACL recovery from six months to nine months,” Dr. John Kelly said in an interview on WIP-FM in Philadelphia. “This is an ACL plus, at least, two ligaments. If he tore the LCL, which was wrote in the press — that’s wrong.
“What I saw in the video, he had at least three ligaments on the outside of the knee damaged. That requires reconstruction; that’s a long rehab. And if it were my patient, I’d be thinking nine, 10 or even 11 months.”
Kelly is an orthopedic surgeon at Penn Medicine and has been in practice for more than 25 years. He’s likely seen hundreds of these types of injuries.
The doctor compared Wentz’s injury to that of Robert Griffin III.
“This is an RG3 equivalent, folks. This is worrisome,” Kelly said. “Now, his good news, he had a very good surgeon — Dr. James Bradley. He’s going to have good therapy virtue of NovaCare. He’s a man of faith, which is important to me too. This guy is an excellent patient. But I think his timeline is very, very optimistic.”
Griffin also suffered ACL and LCL tears during the playoffs of the 2012 season. He vowed to return for Week 1 of the 2013 season, which he did, but he was never the same afterward.
After throwing 20 touchdown passes during his rookie season, Griffin has has tallied just 24 since then. He went unsigned during the 2017 season.
While Kelly is an expert in this field, it should also be noted that he’s not the doctor who operated on Wentz and likely didn’t view the quarterback’s medical files. He’s just going by what he saw with the injury and what the standard protocol is for rehab following reconstructive surgery.
Regardless if Wentz is ready for Week 1, Kelly believes the injury will cause Wentz to change his style of play moving forward. He says Wentz will have to wear a brace for the rest of his career to protect his knee.
“This kid, God bless him, is probably going to be brace dependent — like [Tom] Brady, like RG3 was — the rest of his career,” said Kelly. “This may be a blessing in disguise, maybe become more of a drop-back quarterback that we all want him to be.”
While in theory being more of a pocket passer and wearing a knee brace would protect Wentz from injury, other quarterbacks have done those same things and still gotten hurt.
Brady is the prototypical drop-back quarterback yet he still shredded his knee in 2008 when he was hit in the pocket.
Ryan Tannehill had his 2017 season end during training camp while scrambling, but he was also wearing a knee brace at the time and that didn’t save him from a non-contact season-ending injury.
Every quarterback is different, and there are numerous factors that can affect a player’s chances of getting hurt. Wentz may push himself to be ready for Week 1, but the Eagles likely won’t — especially considering his backup, Nick Foles, just won a Super Bowl in his stead.
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