If there is a silver lining to the David DeCastro’s knee injury suffered on Sunday night in Buffalo, it’s that apparently his ACL is intact. Still though, it’s a significant injury that will keep him out for quite awhile. He’ll need surgery to repair the damage once the swelling goes down, which could take as long as 1-2 weeks under normal conditions.
Per Adam Schefter’s Twitter: August 26, 2012, Steelers g David DeCastro dislocated his knee cap, tore his medial collateral ligament and suffered some damage to patellar tendon. But his anterior cruciate ligament is intact, according to sources and Steelers still are unsure if or when he will be able to return this season.
DeCastro suffered the injury early in the game when the Steelers were pinned inside their own 5 yd line by the Bills special teams coverage units. He was in the endzone when his knee was rolled up on and twisted like a pretzel. It was painful to watch if you saw it. After laying on the ground for several minutes he was helped to one foot by the Steelers trainers and then carted off to the lockerroom. He left the Bills stadium on crutches and in a knee brace.
If they do decide to put him on IR he is of course done for the year and Ramon Foster will carry the load in 2012. They could decide to keep him on the regular season roster and just deactivate him if they think he can return in 2012.
The prognosis for a return this year would have to be pretty substantial in favor of DeCastro for the team to consider not putting him on IR though. Normal recovery time for an MCL tear of this severity is a minimum of 6 weeks. However when you add in the dislocated knee cap, which takes 4-6 weeks to heal and then the patellar tendon injury which can also take up to 6 weeks, it’s a major injury indeed even with out the ACL tear. How will all 3 of those injuries heal at the same time? You just don’t know until after the surgery. NFL rehab procedures are state of the art, which is always a plus, but still those recovery times are minimum. Since everyone heals differently you just don’t know how a player will respond to treatment during recovery.
Depth is going to be a concern this year with DeCastro out of the lineup for at least the time being so let’s hope the rest of the line can stay healthy.
UPDATE: According to sources, ProFootballTalk is reporting that DeCastro is expected to miss 3-5 months for his recovery. At this point the best case scenario could see him available sometime in December and for the playoffs should the Steelers advance. The team has not yet released an official statement on if he’ll be placed on injured reserve or not. Ramon Foster is the odds on choice for starting RG for the 2012 regular season.
The final preseason game is against the Panthers, in Pittsburgh, on Thursday night August 30th.