As the news of Michael Crabtree's Achilles tear has sunk in, 49ers fans have moved on from despair to selling themselves on the quick turnaround of a guy like Terrell Suggs. The Ravens outside linebacker tore his Achilles last offseason and worked his way back by late October.
socalisteph put together some thoughts on the medical side of things, and mentioned Suggs' recovery. The same type of injury in two players will differ because of the contextual nature of injuries. Every person's body is built differently. Injuries happen in a different manner. And in the case of Suggs vs. Crabtree, you are talking about players built incredibly different and playing unrelated positions.
While it is tough to consider that, another wide receiver weighed in on Achilles injuries. Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas suffered an Achilles tear in February 2011, and returned to practice in early September. He spoke with media on Wednesday:
"He's a great player and I'm sure he's going to work hard to get back and listen to all the people that he's got to listen to," Thomas said Wednesday. "But it's difficult at first, because it took a while for me to be able to do anything. You know, I had to wear a boot for six to eight weeks, and I couldn't do anything but upper body stuff. Once I got it off, I still had to take time, because it's a serious injury, and you don't want to take it too fast."
Thomas also indicated he didn't feel 100% until seven months after the injury. Thomas did not return to game action until October 23, 2011, but that stretch between his return to practice and returning October 23 was due in large part to breaking his left pinkie finger in his first practice back.
When Thomas suffered his injury, he asked the doctor what was the quickest anybody had returned. The doctor said five months, and while Thomas took longer, he was clearly motivated to get back as quickly as possible. Willis McGahee spoke about Thomas' injury and recovery, and it applies to Crabtree as well:
"That's something you have to do yourself," McGahee said. "Nobody can tell you. The trainers can tell you that you can do this. The coaches can tell you that you can do this. You have to tell yourself before anything. I think he found it within himself, like, 'Hey, I can go out here and play to the top level that everybody else is playing at.' And that's what he's doing."
Coach Harbaugh was at the hospital visiting with Crabtree after his surgery. According to Coach Harbaugh, after Crabtree learned he would not necessarily be out for the season he said, "got no choice but to be back." That's just one statement, but it hopefully means Crabtree is in the right frame of mind to hit rehab hard.
- Internal options to replace Crabtree production
- External options to replace Crabtree production
- Medical insight into Achilles injuries
- Jim Harbaugh talks Crabtree injury