McKinley’s shoulder is a major concern

Falcons draft pick Takkarist McKinley had major shoulder surgery in March. (Associated Press)

Falcons draft pick Takkarist McKinley had major shoulder surgery in March. (Associated Press)

The Falcons were excited after drafting former UCLA edge rusher Takkarist McKinkey and repeatedly glossed over the fact that he had major shoulder surgery in March on Thursday night.

McKinley says he played his final two seasons at UCLA with a torn labrum and fractured socket.

Falcons trade pick to draft McKinley

He played through the injury not realizing the severity of the injury. The defensive end, who was selected with the 26th pick, underwent surgery to repair a torn right labrum and glenoid fracture March 3.

At the combine, McKinley said the recovery time was four to six months.

The Falcons didn’t give their fan-base clear answers about McKinley’s recovery timeline or if they can expect him on the field at the outset of the season.

“We are used to hearing about labral tears that affect shoulder stability, but the glenoid fracture sounds ominous,” wrote Dr. David J. Chao in an article for The San Diego Union-Tribune. “Really, the glenoid fracture should not be a big worry in and of itself, as it is likely an extension of the labral tear.”

The Atlanta Falcons moved to the 26th spot to draft UCLA's Takkarist McKinley. During recruiting visit to Cal, he overslept because he hadn't slept on a bed in months. The 6-foot-2, 250-pound defensive end had 10 sacks his senior season at UCLA. He finished his last year with 61 tackles, including a team-high 18 for a loss. McKinley was the third rated edge rusher in the draft. McKinley underwent surgery March 3 for a torn labrum and fractured socket. McKinley paid tribute to his grandmother, Myrtle Coll

“The shoulder joint is not a true ball and socket joint, but rather more a ‘golf ball on a golf tee.’ The glenoid is the ‘tee’ where the ‘ball’ sits and in McKinley’s case the edge of his ‘tee’ is chipped causing the ‘ball’ to be unstable. This is really the same injury as the labrum tear as this is where the labrum attaches.”

McKinley is a candidate to start training camp on the Non-Football Injury list, but could be ready to participate during training camp and will likely start off his NFL career wearing a right shoulder harness for stability, Chao projects.However, the Falcons felt comfortable about the surgery, but didn’t want to put a firm timetable on his return.

“We didn’t have a problem with that,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. “We knew that he was healing well. He’s in a good situation. Our (doctors) are good with it. I understand that anytime you have a situation like that, you need to take care of it. His choice was, along with his representation was that he was going to take care of it.

McKinley draft bio

“Hopefully, he’s ready to go much sooner rather than later. We have a really good program here and we’re hoping that he’s going to up and ready to go soon.”

Falcons coach Dan Quinn said that McKinley will able to attend the team’s rookie minicamp and the mandatory camp, but not the OTAs because UCLA is on a quarters system.

Quinn also expressed optimism about McKinley’s return from major shoulder surgery.