Logan Mankins’s availability for the start of Patriots training camp is in jeopardy in light of the news that he has undergone surgery for a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
A league source confirmed to the Globe Tuesday that Mankins had the procedure sometime after the Patriots played the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI Feb. 5; the news was originally reported by ESPNBoston.com late Monday night.
Dr. Daniel Kharrazi, a partner at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in Los Angeles, where Tom Brady had his knee surgery in 2008, confirmed that six months is the typical rehabilitation time for individuals undergoing ACL reconstruction, and that rushing back too quickly can lead to other issues.
Kharrazi noted that in 1997, when Jerry Rice returned to the field just 14 weeks after tearing his ACL, the cracked patella he suffered in his first game back was likely due to his insistence on getting back before everything had properly healed and strengthened.
It is unclear when Mankins suffered the tear, but Kharrazi, who did his orthopedic residency at Harvard, working at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham & Women’s, said there are only two scenarios possible:
One is that when Mankins sprained his medial collateral ligament in the Dec. 24 win over Miami, he also could have suffered an injury to his ACL that went undetected, and the blow he took to the knee in the Super Bowl completed the tear.
Or, the force of the hit to his knee in the Super Bowl alone was enough to tear the ACL. If the MCL is weakened, Kharrazi said, the next ligament to suffer damage would be the ACL.
But Kharrazi said it was a complete tear.
“He would not have undergone surgery for a partial tear,’’ Kharrazi said. “That’s what they do reconstruction for.’’
If Mankins underwent the surgery in mid-February, then six months puts him at a mid-August return, after camp starts.
“Frankly, I doubt his knee will be 100 percent [in less than six months], but pro athletes are made of a different cloth,’’ Kharrazi said.
The six months, said Kharrazi, is for the graft to heal and to rehab the injury.
“And that’s just for his knee,’’ he said. “His core strength and getting in game shape will take an additional month or two.’’
With Mankins’s availability for the start of the season in doubt, the Patriots signed veteran offensive lineman Robert Gallery to a one-year contract Monday. Gallery, who spent last season with the Seahawks after playing in Oakland for the first seven years of his career, began his career as a left tackle but was moved to guard and started all 16 games at left guard for the Seahawks in 2011.
With his friend and rival Peyton Manning the new face of the Broncos franchise, Brady took to Facebook to post a message:
“I have a lot of respect for Peyton Manning as a person and as a player. He is a great role model and always puts the team first. And he is a great leader and representative for the NFL. Like always, it will be fun to compete against him this year when the New England Patriots play the Denver Broncos.’’
The Broncos come to Foxborough in the 2012 season, and with the Manning signing, the game will almost certainly be in prime time, like so many regular-season showdowns between the Colts and Patriots in recent years.
Bill Belichick had a busy day Tuesday. Early in the day, he was in Tampa, with director of player personnel Nick Caserio for the University of South Florida’s pro day, and by the evening he was in Fort Myers for the Red Sox game against Toronto. New Sox skipper Bobby Valentine left tickets for Belichick.
South Florida had around a dozen prospects take part, but it does not have any players projected to go high in the draft; only running back Darrell Scott was invited to the Combine. Safety Jerrell Young, corner Quenton Washington, guard Jeremiah Warren, and Scott are considered late-round talents.
Though the news has been out for a few days, the Patriots made the signing of four players official on Tuesday: Dan Connolly, Jonathan Fanene, Brandon Lloyd, and Daniel Fells. All received three-year contracts. Also, the Patriots released linebacker Christian Cox, an undrafted rookie last year who spent the entire season on injured reserve with a neck injury.