The New England Patriots are never particularly forthcoming on injury information, and the case of Wes Welker’s timetable for returning from a torn ACL is no exception. But there are promising signs that Welker, who was injured in the regular-season finale on January 3, could be ready for the regular-season opener on September 12.
The Boston Globe quotes Dr. James Gladstone, co-chief of sports medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center, as saying — based on descriptions of how Welker looked at Wednesday’s practice — that Welker sounds like his recovery is going smoothly four months after surgery. And with three more months before the start of the regular season, it’s realistic to think he can be on the field.
“Seven months out? Yeah, it’s definitely a possibility,” Gladstone said. “That would be good for anyone to get back that quickly, sure. But if he’s doing the things you’re describing at four months, then it’s quite possible, if not likely.”
The key words there might be “not likely.” A torn ACL is, of course, a very serious injury for anyone.
But a week after Vikings cornerback Cedric Griffin (who tore his ACL three weeks after Welker tore his) expressed optimism about playing in the regular-season opener, there are reasons to be optimistic that Welker will be on the field in Week One as well.