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ProFootballDoc: Sure, Brady Needs Surgery, But Mahomes Is A Bigger Concern

Offseason is the time to get healthy. I have often said there are many more surgeries after the season than during it. Such is now the case for both Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady. 

We discussed before the Super Bowl that the Mahomes turf toe injury would require surgery. The recovery from a plantar plate surgery is typically six months and could leak into the start of next season. The Mahomes surgery occurred yesterday, and now comes word of Brady’s surgery.

The procedure is undoubtedly a knee arthroscopy and should be a straightforward outpatient procedure. How minor it is depends on what the cleanup is for.

In 2008, Brady tore his ACL and MCL and had surgery on both. Then, he endured the complication of an infection requiring prolonged antibiotics and further cleanup. Since then, he has always worn a brace on his lead leg prophylactically as many QBs do.

Clearly Brady had more than just a simple ACL tear back then and chances are good that there was some meniscus and/or articular cartilage damage. His current need for a “cleanup” is likely at least indirectly related to the original injury. It is common for players to finish the season before getting surgery on a degenerative meniscus tear, and Brady likely played through the issue, as it never appeared on any injury reports.

The sleeve for swelling on Brady’s left knee shown above in the parade celebration picture indicates there is no major ligament damage or instability. In 2018, he did suffer an MCL sprain.

Anything with Brady is a big story, but this should not be that big a deal. The ‘scope should not preclude him from playing next year or even beyond the age of 45, as he indicated. If there were an offseason program, Brady would be ready by then.

The bigger injury and surgery here is with Mahomes. Although there is media optimism that he will be ready ahead of training camp, that is not a guarantee for the Chiefs QB. Ironically the injury to watch here is the one on the much younger quarterback.

Written by Pro Football Doc

David Chao, MD -- known digitally as Pro Football Doc -- is an expert contributor for Outkick. Chao spent 17 seasons as the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers (1997-2013) and is part of the medical team at OASIS in San Diego where he treats and specializes in orthopedic sports injuries, working with high-profile professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB.

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