Patriots Gronkowski’s MCL and ACL injury puts 2014 season in question
Gronkowski has been injured so late into the season that chances of recovery do not favour him a speedy return back to field. And to top it all off, he has not just got one torn ligament but both an ACL and an MCL. They aren’t just some injuries that NFL players get that makes them miss a few games and are back bouncing and hitting around. These are season ending injuries that have been known to end the careers of many an up and coming players.
An Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury is sadly a common sort of injury in the NFL where even the most illiterate fans have understood the word ACL to be synonymous to “season ending”. These injuries mean that a player will almost likely miss the entire season and in most cases some of the offseason and maybe even the other regular season or part of it, as Gronkowski is predicted to. And there is one way to repair a ruptured ACL. That is to lie down on the surgery table.
Thee damaged ligament cannot heal. It needs surgical repair. When torn, a surgeon gets rid of the damaged ligament, takes some of the Patellar tendon and then replaces it with the original tendon, much like replacing good old American machine with Chinese parts. What occurs next is the body’s very own ligamentization process which involves morphing the tissue into a more ligament material. And as it ages, the process goes on and it quite literally replaces the old ligament.
Then the athletes go to rehab programs to help in a speedy recovery to return on field. We all know that part. Estimated time of recovery: 10 to 12 months at max.
MCL injuries are classified in grades. Grade 1 means it just sprained a little and will do with rest and rehab. Grade 2 is more serious and might mean a partial tear in the ligament. Finally, Grade 3 means the ligament is torn.
These on the other hand don’t need injury and can heal on their own. Grade 1 and 2 need at max a month to recover from whereas a Grade 3 might require 2 or 3 months.
It might seem a nightmare to have them both combined but it is not that way at all. Gronkowski is a tough guy who has seen this one too many times and will do rehab well. But even if all goes well and injury heals spectacularly, it would mean he would make it back almost in time for the first game or a little late. If it goes as it should logically, he would drop it somewhere midseason. And in case it goes bad and takes more time, he could very much miss the coming season.