Falcons free safety Ricardo Allen, who suffered a torn Achilles tendon, is facing six months of recovery time, according to one medical expert.
Allen will miss the rest of the regular season and be placed on injured reserve. He could be near full strength by March and be ready for Organize Team Activities in May.
“Surgery is typically done, you have to repair the tendon,” said Dr. Ken Jung, a foot and ankle surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles. “When the tendon is torn there is a gap. So you are essentially sewing the tendon back together. Recovery wise, you are looking at a minimum of six months or so before he’d be back to essentially full activity.”
Allen, 26, is expected to regain his speed, range of motion and strength.
“Range of motion is typically a big question,” said Jung, who’s also a foot and ankle consultant to the Ducks and Kings of the NHL, the Lakers of the NBA, the Dodgers of MLB and the Sparks of the WNBA. “Strength and explosiveness, that may take a little longer to get fully back. But yeah, you’d expect them to be able to recover that.”
Allen, who signed a three-year $19.5 million contract extension over the offseason, was not in a collision on the play when he was injured in overtime of the 43-37 loss to the Saints on Sunday. He was taken off the field and then put on a cart on the sideline.
“It can vary, younger people, you don’t have to necessarily being doing something explosive,” Jung said. “Sometimes people notice it just by pushing off. In the act of pushing off, the muscle is firing off and elongating. It can actually rupture or tear. It may not be the most explosive or dramatic type injury, but it’s definitely an issue where they are firing the muscle, it can rupture.”
But the sixth-month recovery window could be extended.
“There is some variability depending on the specific sport and also within a sport depending on what position someone plays,” Jung said. “In general, the minimum is six months, but with regards to getting back to full activity it can vary depending on sport to sport.”
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