Grapevine, Texas – Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez got the news he’d been hoping for a few days ago: He won’t need surgery on his throwing shoulder.
Sanchez said tonight at a hotel near Dallas, where he traveled for a series of promotional appearances before Super Bowl XLV, that he was told by team Dr. Ken Montgomery early this week that the injury he initially suffered against the Steelers on Dec. 19 had sufficiently healed that he won’t require surgery.
“It’s looking good,” Sanchez said. “[The Jets’ medical staff was] just really pleased with the way things have healed. The swelling and bruising type stuff are gone, so they’re really happy about that.”
Asked if he was relieved, Sanchez said, “Oh, absolutely.”
Sanchez said he’ll be on “active rest” for a few weeks, which means he’ll do some stretching and light exercise to continue the rehabilitation process. He’ll meet with Dr. Montgomery at least once later this month at the team’s training facility in Florham Park, N.J.
“[Montgomery said] it’s not going to be just a sit-around-and-see-how-you-feel-until-August type thing,” Sanchez said. “I said, ‘Of course not.’ I’m committed to the team, No. 1. and I’ll do everything I can mentally and physically to be ready to play, and I know I will.”
Sanchez said he didn’t visit any other doctors for other opinions. Instead, Montgomery sent two MRI’s – one taken after the Dec. 19 game against the Steelers, and the other after the Jets’ loss to the Steelers in the AFC Championship Game less than two weeks ago – to multiple doctors to see how they felt. All of them indicated the area initially injured looked fine and wouldn’t require surgery.
Sanchez actually did some light throwing earlier this week and said he felt fine. He’ll throw more regularly later this month, and is prepared to work out on his own in the event of a lockout. If the NFL and the NFL Players Association don’t work out an extension of their collective bargaining agreement by March 3, a lockout could begin the following day.
Sanchez said he didn’t feel an inordinate amount of pain in the games he played after the injury, and that he didn’t require any pain-killing injections during games.
“On game day, you don’t even think about it,” Sanchez said. “The hardest part is the week of practice when I don’t get to take every rep.”
Sanchez said he experienced mixed emotions coming to Dallas, mostly because he’d much rather be playing. The Jets were eliminated by the Steelers in the AFC title game in Pittsburgh.
“It’s weird, just seeing the Super Bowl logo everywhere, seeing the Steelers’ logo, it’s like, ‘Man, we were so close,’” he said. “The thing that really pops out to me is that if we keep progressing, this is the kind of team that needs to win our division and own that No. 1 spot. Do that, get a home game. Looking at the last few games, we were at Pittsburgh, at Chicago, at New England twice, that’s tough for anybody. It’s really too bad.”
Sanchez said he’ll spend a good portion of the off-season at his home in southern California, and that he planned to bring several of his teammates there to train, even in the event of a lockout.