With word last night that Houston Texans linebacker Jadeveon Clowney suffered a torn meniscus in Sunday’s win over Washington comes two scenarios.
He could miss only a few weeks.
He could lose the rest of the season.
“There are two options,” said independent Houston orthopedist Dr. Kenneth First on “In The Loop” on Sports Radio 610 in Monday. “You can either repair it. Or you can remove the torn piece.”
First is not affiliated with the Texans, isn’t currently treating Clowney and hasn’t seen Clowney’s MRI or any other diagnostics. But First said he’s seen many similar injuries in his medical career.
Assuming no setbacks, the first procedure, First said, would leave Clowney on the shelf for 4-6 weeks. But if it’s repaired, that would likely land him on injured reserve, effectively ending his 2014 season.
“It will all come down to what the doctors do in surgery,” First said.
“Repair, I think he’s done for the season.”
Other players to have torn meniscus repaired include Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose and Texans third-round rookie Louis Nix III, for whom doctors tried to patch up torn knee cartilage before his 2013 season at Notre Dame. Nix never fully recovered and was clearly bothered by the injury all last season, until doctors went back and removed the torn piece this summer.
The second procedure has helped Nix a lot, First said.
“You can see where Nix has been able to come back,” First said. “He’s not 100 percent in terms of his playing ability, but he is back playing. And that was only 3-4 weeks from the date of his surgery.”
Doctors will decide what to do based on a few factors, First said, including the type of tear, the location of the tear, the blood supply near the tear and what kind of shape the torn piece is in.
“Obviously if it’s shredded, if it looks like Hamburger Helper so to speak, that’s coming out,” First said.
If it’s removed, and Clowney’s recovery is smooth, a 4-6 week timetable would put him on track to return against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 5 or Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football in Week 7.
“Unfortunatley the Texans don’t have a bye week early,” First said.
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Hopefully, they have Clowney back and healthy and terrorizing quarterbacks sooner rather than later.