Shedding more light on Suggs' timetable
May, 11, 2012
By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com
Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs says he expects to play in 2012, in about four to six months following this week's surgery that repaired his Achilles tendon.
The key isn't when Suggs can return to the field. It's when Suggs can return to his old self, the quarterback-harrassing NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
"Some guys will say it takes them a full year to feel like they did pre-injury, especially when it comes to power, speed, explosiveness," said ESPN injury expert Stephania Bell, a certified orthopedic clinical specialist. "Can they still come back and contribute before that? Absolutely, if everything proceeds according to plan and if they are medically cleared."
According to Bell, there is no difference in the recovery time for a partial or full tear. Once surgery takes place, the rehab is essentially the same.
"There are other factors involved in surgery which can slow rehab such as if the tendon was in very poor shape or if there was bone work involved near the attachment," Bell said. "Then there are always post-op possible complications, like infection, which can influence timeline. Not to mention the work the athlete puts in, within the parameters permitted based on the post-op guidelines. It is a lot of hard work to get back from this."
The likely scenario is the Ravens place Suggs on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list at the start of training camp and gauge where he stands after the first six weeks of the season. There's a possibility that Baltimore will try to limit the wear and tear on Suggs by using him as a pass-rush specialist this season.
"So the bottom line is that Suggs could return midseason, if all goes well," Bell said, "but no one can set that timeline in stone right now."
1:50 4th Qtr Carolina 34 Atlanta 3 6:34 4th Qtr Detroit 14 Green Bay 28 5:15 4th Qtr Oakland 14 Denver 33 4:53 4th Qtr Arizona 17 San Francisco 20 4:16 4th Qtr St. Louis 6 Seattle 20 8:30 PM ET Cincinnati Pittsburgh Final Cleveland 10 Baltimore 20 Final Dallas 44 Washington 17 Final Indianapolis 27 Tennessee 10 Final Jacksonville 17 Houston 23 Final San Diego 7 Kansas City 19 Final New York 37 Miami 24 Final Chicago 9 Minnesota 13 Final Buffalo 17 New England 9 Final Philadelphia 34 New York 26 Final New Orleans 23 Tampa Bay 20