Sep 16, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce (62) is carted off the field with an injury during the third quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles defeated the Ravens 24-23. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
The Eagles got some mixed news on the health of C Jason Kelce yesterday, finding that he had completely torn his MCL, but seems to have only a partial tear of his ACL. This could, if all goes well, potentially mean that it could be just a 4-6 week injury. Head trainer Rick Burkholter explained the process they will go through to determine that.
"As you guys saw yesterday with [C] Jason [Kelce], he had a knee injury on the field. Dr. [Pete] DeLuca's exam and this morning's MRI confirmed a partial anterior cruciate ligament [ACL] tear and a total tear of the MCL, which is the medial collateral ligament. The question arises, ‘what do you do with those two injuries?' There's not a consensus around the country among sports medicine people. The first thing we know is that the MCL has to heal up before you can do anything with the ACL. That takes up to four to six weeks. With the ACL, you have to decide whether or not you're going to have to fix it through ACL reconstruction or don't fix [it]. If we fix it, he will be done for the season and he'll have a long rehab. If you don't fix it and the MCL heals, he has a chance to play this year"
The issue is that a partial tear of the ACL can be minor or more major and require surgery. It all depends on how the ACL works with the tear. Problem is, if your MCL is torn, its very hard to tell. So they will scope his knee tomorrow to see the extent of the damage with the ACL, but either way, they will have to wait until the MCL heals before making a final decision on whether to fix his ACL. Typically, he says, the results of ACL surgery are better if the patient has an intact MCL.
Burkholder said that he has spoken with colleagues from other teams and this is something that has been dealt with before. He wouldn't mention specific players, but there have been guys who had the MCL fixed and continued playing on a partially torn ACL.
So its not "good news" perse, but obviously a complete tear of both the ACL & MCL would have been much more devastating. Still, there is the possibility they need to repair his ACL, in which case the recovery would similar to if he'd torn both.