Following up on Ahmad Brooks' injury

August, 8, 2010
8/08/10
2:44
PM ET
As promised, ESPN injury expert Stephania Bell has come through with thoughts on the kidney laceration Ahmad Brooks suffered during San Francisco 49ers training camp. The team has said it plans to evaluate Brooks again in two weeks.

Bell is a physical therapist, a board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist and a certified strength and conditioning specialist. Her thoughts on Brooks:
"If it is a very tiny laceration, more superficial (or more toward the 'outer surface' of the kidney), this injury might well heal on its own and heal completely without further issue -- relatively quickly. A more severe injury could cause much more bleeding and in some instances require surgery, although that is far less common.

"At issue is how much bleeding there is and how long it takes for the kidney to repair itself. It often does heal itself well, but the biggest concern is sending someone back too soon and having the kidney vulnerable to further injury (particularly in a contact sport) and then having a far more serious situation at hand.

"The Chicago Bears' Garrett Wolfe last year suffered a lacerated kidney in early November, then was placed on injured reserve. But in that case, Wolfe, was hospitalized for three days post-injury, suggesting it was more serious from the outset than the case appears to be with Brooks.

"Unless Brooks' injury is more serious than it sounds on the surface, I would expect that he will be able to return. The question becomes when. While I certainly can't offer a specific timetable from here (and even the 49ers couldn't give a precise one because it all depends on how his healing progresses), I can say that the re-evaluation in two weeks will probably dictate whether looks well enough to return to practice. Expect more time before they allow contact."

The 49ers have more than a month before their first regular-season game, so there's time to take things slowly without affecting the team on the field.

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