Bryan Thomas woke up from surgery in a daze, unsure of just how many hours had ticked by.
The Jet linebacker remembers going into the hospital around 6 a.m., confident he’d be out of there by 8 o’clock, at the absolute latest.
“When I woke up, they told me, ‘Oh we had to fix a ligament,’” he said, retelling the story of his January surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. “I was (passed) out. When I left the hospital it was 1, 2 o’clock in the morning. I was out of it so I didn’t know what was going on. I was like, ‘What time is it?’”
Despite undergoing two offseason surgeries, Thomas – who was still rehabbing from his season-ending Achilles surgery at the time of his second operation – insisted he’ll be ready for training camp.
The veteran linebacker, who eagerly used his reps during 11-on-11 drills Wednesday as proof that he's progressing nicely, added that he was far more concerned about his Achilles than his shoulder.
“This was not as major a surgery as that,” Thomas, 33, said as he pointed from his shoulder to his foot.
For three years, he wasn’t at 100 percent. But he just couldn’t figure out why.
Like clockwork, he’d complain to the training staff upon leaving the weight room. And each time, the trainers would say “We don’t see nothing,” he said.
Though the details are somewhat fuzzy, Thomas said he remembers the moment the shoulder injury occurred: the Jets were playing on the road in San Francisco, back when Brett Favre was their quarterback.
“I remembered falling on it,” he said. “I went into the locker room, they did the X-ray, after the game they did the MRI.”
For three years, the MRIs showed nothing.
“But I kept complaining, saying something’s hurt. Something’s hurting,” he said. “And it kept getting weaker. When I was out there playing, I felt like I wasn’t as strong as I needed to be.”
Finally, he went for an arthroscope in January.
“It hurt,” he said, pointing to the three small incision marks on his right shoulder. “It hurt a lot.”