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Sanchez opts for surgery

That didn't take long.

Just as we figured last week, Mark Sanchez has decided to undergo an elective surgical procedure to strengthen and stabilize the ligaments around his patella tendon. It’s unclear precisely when the rookie quarterback will have the surgery, which will be performed by team orthopedists Dr. Kenneth Montgomery and Dr. Elliott Hershman.

But it will most likely take place within the next few weeks given Sanchez will need at least eight weeks of recovery time -- if not longer. The Jets aren't giving a specific timetable.

General manager Mike Tannenbaum said last week that he was confident Sanchez would be ready well before training camp in July, but indicated he’ll surely miss a portion of the Jets’ offseason conditioning program that begins later next month.

Sanchez visited with Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. last Wednesday and the renowned orthopedic specialist checked out both of Sanchez's knees. Andrews recommended Sanchez have surgery on his left knee and not the right knee he injured diving headfirst attempting to get a first down early in the second half of the Jets’ 19-13 win over Buffalo in Toronto Dec. 3.

The surgery isn’t necessarily a must for Sanchez, but by strengthening the area around patella tendon, the Jets are hopeful that it will help prevent any further damage to the knee he originally injured in his junior season at USC. He tweaked the knee again in the Jets' 17-6 victory over the Panthers Nov. 29.

Sanchez dislocated his left kneecap in August 2008 and played that entire season with a brace. He also wore a brace on the knee for protection purposes this season, even playing with braces on both knees Dec. 20 against the Falcons -- his first game back after sitting out the Jets’ 26-3 win over the Bucs to continue rehabilitating his right knee.

Sanchez moved around well during the Jets' postseason run, compiling a 92.7 rating during the postseason. He completed 41 of 68 passes for 539 yards, threw for four touchdowns and had two interceptions in becoming only the fourth rookie quarterback since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970 to guide his team to a conference championship game.

New York Sports