When injuries like these happen, you know it's going to take a long time for someone to recover.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree tore his Achilles tendon during organized team activities on Tuesday.
According to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport Crabtree has already had surgery to repair the tendon and will begin six months of rehabilitation. Crabtree could return as early as November.
49ers coach Jim Harbaugh talked with reporters on Wednesday and confirmed that the wide receiver had successful surgery. He does not expect Crabtree to miss the whole season.
In days past, an injury like this meant the player would be out the entire season, but due to advances in podiatric medicine, recovery from surgery is greatly reduced. Last spring Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Da'Quan Bowers tore their Achilles tendons and rejoined their teams after time recuperating. However, neither player was 100 percent when they returned to the field.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas tore his tendon during training in February 2011, right after his rookie season. Thomas had surgery and was cleared to practice seven months later, after missing all of the Broncos' offseason workouts and training camp. He wasn't fully back until October 2011 and can sympathize with how Crabtree is feeling.
"He's a great player and I'm sure he's going to work hard to get back and listen to all the people that he's got to listen to," Thomas said. "But it's difficult at first, because it took a while for me to be able to do anything. You know, I had to wear a boot for six to eight weeks, and I couldn't do anything but upper body stuff. Once I got it off, I still had time, because it's a serious injury, and you don't want to take it too fast."
Crabtree, 25, had a stellar year for the 49ers last season. He had career highs in reception (85), yards (1,105), and touchdowns (9). In the three seasons past Crabtree had struggled to live up to the expectations the team put on him after drafting him 10th overall in 2009.
Crabtree had a great postseason as well, with 20 catches for 285 yards and three touchdowns, with one touchdown in the Super Bowl. He had the potential to score the winning goal when he was the intended target on a quick rollout pass on third-and-goal and a fade on fourth-and-goal that went over his head as he was defended by Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith. Harbaugh wanted a pass-interference call on both plays but was denied by referees.
Reference: USA Today.
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