After missing almost his entire rookie season through five weeks with a knee injury, it looks like tight end Travis Kelce could be on his way to injured reserve. The team announced Wednesday that the third round pick had microfracture knee surgery.
Head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder spoke to the media about the situation before practice Wednesday.
“Travis had an ongoing knee problem, and it goes all the way back to training camp,” Burkholder said. “When we first did an MRI there, he had a bone bruise in his knee. Every time we’d try to progress him through the rehab or get him back out on the field, he had a setback.”
Burkholder explained that when they would give Kelce more MRIs, the same bone bruise would be there but the setbacks continued. Finally, he and Dr. Cris Barnthouse thought there might be something that wasn’t showing up on the MRI.
Kelce simply couldn’t get out of his stance the way he needed to and they decided knee surgery was the best course of action.
“He did find that he did have a spot in his cartilage, in his articular cartilage, at the end of his femur bone. It didn’t show up on the MRI, but when they went in with the scope, he can see it. That spot in his knee is in a non-weight bearing area and that’s why he could run without pain, but he couldn’t get in and out of his stance; that needed to have a microfracture procedure.”
Microfracture is something an athlete never wants to hear. It a major knee surgery that can zap a player’s explosion and has ended careers. Basically, the surgery creates tiny fractures in the knee to try and force new cartilage to develop.
So soon after the surgery, head coach Andy Reid tried to speak in more positive terms.
“(John) Dorsey and I will continue to meet with Rick and the doctors and we’ll just see. I’m just glad that he’s okay and that he’s going to have a nice recovery and be able to play the game that he loves to play.”
Here’s hoping he is able to come back and play again. This is not your typical knee surgery and could end Kelce’s Chiefs career before it ever really got a chance to start.