Thursday, June 14, 2007

What Does this Actually Mean?

Now that we know Jimmy Clausen did have a procedure done on his elbow, I wanted to take a closer look as to what the effects of the surgery will be and examine if it is possible that there is any truth behind Notre Dame's claim that he will be ready for fall practice.

Since I am assuming that the surgery was to repair bone spur problem in his throwing elbow, I began by trying to find some information on the procedure itself. The best site that I found was this. The site not only outlines what the surgery would entail, it also says that a return to pre-injury athletic activities would take anywhere from 8-12 weeks. I also looked for cases involving athletes who have had a similar procedure. The first I found was Giants outfielder Dave Roberts. It was estimated that his surgery for bone spurs in his elbow would take 6 weeks to recovery from but he came back in a month. The problem here is that his injury was on his non-throwing arm. A better fitting case is Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter, since his bone spurs were in his throwing elbow. He is expected to miss three months.

Now that we have identified both ends of the possible return spectrum, we need to make some assumptions about when Clausen actually had the surgery. I broke the story on Tuesday, and my source said the surgery happened several days ago, sometime prior to that weekend. I know this is a big assumption, trying to guess the day, but I would think if it was done any time prior to late last week the story would have broken sooner. So for the sake of setting up a time line, let's say he had the surgery on June 7th.

If all of our assumptions are correct the best case scenario (8 weeks) would have him coming back just in time for the start of fall practice on August 6th. Notre Dame made it sound like as long as he was ready to play by that date everything would be fine, but let's think about this. Do you really think that they are going to just throw back into the mix as soon as he comes back as if nothing happened? If the coaches and medical staff is smart (which I believe they are) they will ease him back into things slowly. And there's still the problem of him having missed all of summer practice, putting him at a huge disadvantage with the other QBs.

If the injury takes any longer than 8 weeks to heal it will cut into fall practice time. At this point, it can basically guarantee that Clausen will not be the starter on September 1. The worst case scenario (12 weeks) would mean he misses all of fall practice, at which point it would be stupid not to redshirt him.

So what can we conclude from all of this? This injury and subsequent surgery, while not career threatening by any means, is serious, especially in how it will affect the upcoming season. Notre Dame fans should be worried about Clausen, despite what Notre Dame officials are saying.

8 Comments:

BigLots said...

One thing you've got to think about is that a team does not have to redshirt a player before the season starts. If a guy ends up not playing the whole year they can declare him a redshirt after the season is over. My prediction is that Jones will start the year while Clausen gets back to 100 percent. Then if Jones is servicable then Clausen will be redshirted. If Jones sucks and the team gets off to a crappy start (which is highly probably given the brutal start to the season) then Weis will give Clausen a shot.

Anonymous said...

do u really think you are a journalist?


get a day job

Buzzsaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Buzzsaw said...

Biglots, you mother fucker .. you were suppossed to send the Bengals post in to Deadspin, not you're homepage: http://cakesandbabies.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Oh, you can bet he'll be back. He has to in order to get that first of four heisman trophies. But then again, Weis will probably bench him after Michigan welcomes him into rivalry by sacking him many times and forcing him to turn over the ball.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather not see Clausen getting thrown into the wolves in the first 4 game of the Irish season. There is no point in playing a freshman who is not 100% when all he will get is a lower self-confidence. The kid has no experience there's no point in letting the media get to him after a few losses.

Matt Jenks said...

I'd rather see Demetrius in there, anyway. It might sound sacreligious, but I'd rather have JC have an entire year with Weis' system under his belt rather than a few months. Demetrius has already been there, studied, and knows what is going on. Redshirt JC and give the starting role to Demetrius. Besides, DJ's attitude and personality make it seem like he can handle the massive microscope that will put over him at the beginning of the season.

Dr. Health said...

The problem here is that his injury was on his non-throwing arm.