FORMER GAMECOCK GREAT SET TO RESUME NFL CAREER
|| By FITSNEWS || Former University of South Carolina unanimous All-American defensive end Jadeveon Clowney will return to action sooner than the Houston Texans expected.
The No. 1 overall choice in the 2014 NFL draft is scheduled to make his return within two weeks.
“The goal is to get him back on the field on August 17th and then go from there,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said this week, per the team’s website.
That’s two days after the Texans’ first preseason game …
The 22-year-old defensive end underwent a risky, controversial microfracture surgery last December in an effort to address lingering knee issues.
Clowney suffered a meniscus tear in his right knee after landing awkwardly during his NFL debut on September 7. He returned to action seven weeks later, but struggled to recapture his trademark explosiveness off the line and experienced swelling in his knee after exertion.
That’s when the Texans shut him down for the year and opted for the microfracture surgery – a procedure in which tiny holes are punctured into the bones of the knees. These holes result in the seepage of blood and bone marrow (containing stem cells) – producing regenerative cartilage from scar tissue after clotting. The alternative to microfracture? Articular cartilage reconstruction – which involves growing replacement cartilage outside of the body and surgically inserting it into the knee.
Microfracture surgery has a 75-80 percent success rate, although many athletes who undergo it return at less than 100 percent.
Clowney’s recovery has been proceeding well, though. Last week Texans’ physician Walt Lowe – who performed the operation – said Clowney’s knee looked “spectacular.”
As much as our founding editor doesn’t want Clowney terrorizing his favorite quarterback, Andrew Luck, we want to see him back in action and living up to his tremendous potential.
Houston opens its season on September 13 at home against the Kansas City Chiefs. The following week they travel to Charlotte, N.C., near where Clowney played his high school football at South Pointe High School in Rock Hill, S.C.