Since the Patriots are less than forthcoming regarding injuries, we decided to give you a rough idea of what we’re looking at for the rest of the season on a few key players.
Quarterback Tom Brady has been dealing with a bone bruise in his right arm near the elbow since being hit against the Cowboys Oct. 16, according to two league sources.
It is a minor injury and one that should improve and even clear up completely as the season goes along, according to Mike Ludwikowski, a renowned athletic trainer at Susquehanna Health in Williamsport, Pa.
“It could very well get better before the end of the season,’’ he said. “It’s definitely manageable. I’m sure the trainers are doing stretching and icing.’’
Brady was seen icing the elbow during the Cowboys game, and has been wearing a black band below the elbow, which is usually associated with tendinitis, in subsequent games. That would be a byproduct of the contusion, as would any unusual inaccuracy.
“If he’s wearing the band, it could be he has a little inflammation or tendinitis,’’ Ludwikowski said. “For a quarterback it’s usually more extensor tendinitis because that’s how you deliver the football.
“It could affect his release because the triceps tendon attaches right there, you have all your forearm muscles there, your extensors and flexors to hold a football. If you get a bone bruise, he’d accommodate his release a little bit to accommodate the bone bruise.
“Sometimes you wear the band because it feels good, and if it feels good, you’re going to play better.’’
The Patriots are also dealing with a rash of knee sprains: tight end Aaron Hernandez (left) and linebackers Jerod Mayo (left) and Brandon Spikes (right).
“It could potentially be with them the rest of the season, until they can actually take time and allow it to heal,’’ Ludwikowski said. “It’s an uncomfortable injury. Even when you gain some stability and integrity back in the ligament, it’s still there in a sense. I’m sure they’re gutting it out.
“The problem they would encounter is cutting away from it. If it’s the right knee, it’s planting that right leg and going to your left. It’s really putting stress on the leg and it’s uncomfortable. Straight ahead isn’t a problem.’’
Hernandez was removed from the injury report this week, whatever that’s worth.
It’s impossible to know the details of Marcus Cannon’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but we do know he had chemotherapy treatments.
No matter what grade of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma Cannon had, doctors would keep careful watch on his heart and nerves to see if there were any lingering effects, according to Dr. Jack Jacoub, a highly regarded oncologist at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, Calif.
“Even if he had high-grade lymphoma, he has a chance of beating it, but the first two years are very crucial for him because he could relapse at that time,’’ Jacoub said. “If he hasn’t suffered any significant effects from chemotherapy that is long-lasting - heart, nerves, bone marrow function - he’s probably in pretty good shape. Typically young people with cancer respond better to treatment, tolerate treatment better, and tend to have a minimization of the long-term effects that chemotherapy can give people.’’
Jacoub said that outside conditioning concerns, Cannon should be ready to play NFL-caliber football at this point and not be at any higher risk of injury than his teammates.
“He should frankly go back to leading a normal life,’’ Jacoub said. “They’ve watched him now for an additional three months, I think they feel pretty comfortable thinking that he can go back, and that’s a very good sign for him.
“His physicians will be watching him the first two years very closely, usually every two to three months, and there’s blood work done, a physical exam, scans done. If anything is out of whack, it’s further scrutinized.
“They think physiologically that he is near normal, if not normal right now. I don’t think this is a risk for him. This is a disease of the blood system. If it’s completely gone - and it would be since he’s cleared - he’s really like his teammates. Maybe his fatigue level might be a little bit more pronounced, but that will come back once he gets back into it fully.’’