John Phillips Out For Season Due To Torn ACL
Low Moor, VA – On Sunday, Dallas Cowboys and former Bath County Chargers standout John Phillips injured his knee mid-way through the second quarter of the Hall of Fame game against Cincinnati. It was confirmed the next day that Phillips tore the ACL in his right knee.
The ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, is the ligament located in the middle of the knee that allows the knee to rotate properly. For a football player cutting up field, pivoting on a route, or moving laterally from sideline to sideline, a healthy set of ACL’s is essential. With the amount of stress such movements place on the ACL, an ACL injury is the most common knee injury for a football player. Orthopedic and sports medicine expert Dr. James McCoig of Allegheny Highlands Medical Center describes what exactly an ACL tear is.
“It means the continuity of the ACL has been torn completely,” says Dr. McCoig, “such as the ligament no longer functions in stabilizing the knee or preventing the motion of the two bones relative to one another.”
On Monday it was reported and confirmed that Phillips would have to undergo season-ending surgery at the end of the month. Dr. McCoig says surgery and half a year of rehab is standard for a professional athlete who sustains an ACL tear.
“In general,” says Dr. McCoig, “the player can’t return by the end of the season. We’re usually talking about a six month rehab after surgery and maybe even longer for a professional athlete who has to put high demand on the knee.”
As Dr. McCoig points out, an ACL tear is a serious injury for a professional football player. Yet, there are many examples of recent NFL players who have sustained the same injury and have returned fully. In 2006, current Washington Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb suffered a season-ending ACL tear and returned ahead of schedule for the following year. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady similarly tore his ACL in 2008, only to return in 2009 and bring his team back to the playoffs.
Maybe the best example that Phillips will come back strong is Phillips himself. In high school Phillips tore the ACL in his left knee. All he did was return to full health, excel at the University of Virginia and get drafted by the Dallas Cowboys.