By Joseph Santoliquito
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Eagles today announced left tackle Jason Peters ruptured his Achilles tendon in his right leg on Tuesday, March 27, while training in Texas.
Surgery to repair the tendon is scheduled for Tuesday, April 2, in Philadelphia and will be performed by Dr. Steve Raikin of the Rothman Institute.
It’s the same type of injury that Phillies’ first baseman Ryan Howard suffered last October, only to Howard’s left Achilles tendon, and the same injury that newly signed Eagles’ middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans (left Achilles tendon, same as Howard) endured in October 2010 that ended Ryans’ season.
So it seems Philadelphia has become home of the Achilles tendon rupture. There is, however, some hope for Peters, who the Eagles acquired in a trade with Buffalo for three draft picks before the 2009 draft and who’s been named to every Pro Bowl since 2007. Because the injury occurred in March, there is a six-month minimum recovery period, so Peters could rejoin the Eagles possibly as soon as October. Though considering his size, Peters may need a little longer to recover, moving his return to November. Peters works great in space and much of his effectiveness is based on his push-off ability.
“As we announced earlier, Jason Peters has sustained a ruptured Achilles tendon,” Eagles’ coach Andy Reid said in a statement. “He had been working out in his hometown in Texas when this occurred. He alerted [head athletic trainer] Rick [Burkholder] and they quickly put together a plan of attack for his evaluation, surgery and subsequent rehabilitation.
“We all know how much Jason loves to play the game and how much he was looking forward to the start of the 2012 season. Jason is one of the best, if not the best, offensive tackle(s) in the NFL. We don’t know when he will return to the field and we will not speculate on a timeline. We are just going to let the surgical process and the rehabilitation process play itself out. Howie and I will sort out the roster situation for the offensive line. We are glad to have King [Dunlap] back as a part of our offensive line and we will continue to scan the free agent market, also knowing the draft is less than a month away.”
After the surgery, Peters will likely be confined to a cast or walking boot for six to 12 weeks and will likely miss training camp. Many health professionals recommend starting movement and weight-bearing exercises early, before the cast or boot comes off. The total recovery time will probably be as long as six months.
“It takes at least six months to fully recover from an injury like this,” said Dr. John Kelly, orthopedic surgeon at the University of Pennsylvania. “I had the surgery myself and you may lose a little strength with your push-off, but many athletes do come back from this. Someone who had surgery should expect a little bit of weakness at first, and it may take a little longer for a professional athlete to fully because of the stress applied to the area, and because of the demands of their job. But surgery is the best answer, but an athlete will probably lose a little push-off strength. But many people do come back from this, especially professional athletes. It just takes six months to come back.”