Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Clausen should throw in April
By Tom Friend
Jimmy Clausen's right big toe was successfully repaired Tuesday, according to foot surgeon Mark Myerson, and the former Notre Dame quarterback is expected to be healthy well ahead of the April 22 NFL draft.
"Everything went extremely well," Myerson said. "Jimmy should have no problem throwing the ball in early April."
Clausen was injured Sept. 19 when his foot was pinned backward by Michigan State linebacker Eric Gordon. He was diagnosed with turf toe, and although he played the last 10 games of the season in pain, the quarterback finished second in the nation in passing efficiency with 28 touchdowns, only four interceptions and a 68.0 completion percentage.
Clausen hoped the injury was behind him when he resumed throwing and lifting weights in late December. But after tossing a deep pass to former Illinois receiver Arrelious Benn, he felt more pain. His agent, Gary Wichard, suggested he undergo an MRI, and the results revealed the two torn ligaments in his right big toe -- on the foot he plants with when he throws.
According to Myerson, the quarterback's rehab should take two to three months. St. Louis and Washington, two teams that pick in the top four, are known to be intrigued by Clausen and will likely interview him at the upcoming NFL combine and ask him to throw sometime before draft day.
Tom Friend is a senior writer for ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine.