The Miami Dolphins say that Ryan Tannehill doesn’t need surgery to repair his sprained ACL/MCL. It’s been widely reported that he only needs rehabilitation. Unless of course he doesn’t.
James Walker of ESPN is calling this period as “approaching a critical point” regarding Tannehill’s knee. As Walker points out if Tannehill does indeed only need rehab, then no worries. Anything else could drag Tannehill’s recovery into the regular season.
The problem is that Tannehill’s knee injury has a tear in the ACL. That particular ligament does not repair itself over time like the MCL but there is concern that the MCL may need some assistance in its healing as well.
It’s been over two months since Tannehill was injured after being hit by Calais Campbell of the Cardinals. He has had repeated MRI’s with the same results. Surgery isn’t needed…at this time. Therein lies the problem. When will it be “time”?
"“We’re still working through the process. Nothing’s been definitively decided yet,” Tannenbaum said. “As always, with all of our players, organizationally, player health and safety is paramount. We’ll do what’s best for the player.” – via James Walker"
The Dolphins do need to make a decision. Indecision is not a decision. Miami could have had Tannehill’s surgery done a couple of weeks after it occurred and even if it were minor it would still be over with. The team however felt that Tannehill could return to the field if the Dolphins went deep in the post-season.
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Now with the season over Miami is still not making any decisions. If no surgery is done, Tannehill will enter the 2017 season with a small tear of his ACL. Will one hit finish the tear? A full surgery to repair the ACL could keep Tannehill out for nine months. That puts Miami into October.
Whether he “needs” surgery or doesn’t need surgery isn’t as important as what is the long-term prognosis of his recovery? If Tannehill will be better served by surgery then that is what the team should decide to do. There should not be a wait and see approach this long after the injury.
Then again, I’m not a doctor so who knows. Just seems a little odd that we are still hearing “doesn’t need surgery” but that it’s still lingering as a possibility.