Crowell’s Bum Knee

March 19th, 2009

Joe looks at this photo of the Bucs' newest linebacker and hopes the team has already told him to lose the No. 55 jersey

As Joe mentioned previously, the Bucs’ newest  $3.5 million free agent signing, linebacker Angelo Crowell, missed all of last year with a knee injury.

Here’s the skinny from a 2008 story in the Buffalo News.

Not exactly your typical knee injury.

For two years, Crowell dealt with a condition called chondromalacia (or runner’s knee), which is an irritation on the bottom surface of the knee cap. Inflammation of cartilage when the knee cap rubs against the side of the knee joint causes pain.

With the help of strengthening exercises, Crowell started every game last season and posted a career high 140 tackles (93 solo). Instead of having offseason surgery, the Bills’ medical staff decided continued rehabilitation was a better option.

But after being limited throughout training camp and the preseason because of the knee, Crowell decided he couldn’t put off surgery any longer.

“At that point, I didn’t feel I could go out and contribute the way I wanted to for my team,” he said. “I just said, ‘Well, let’s have the surgery.’ As a result, I didn’t think that would put me on IR. That’s the way it was.”

Crowell said he was surprised, but not upset, that the Bills ended his season. A meeting with Bills Chief Operating Officer Russ Brandon convinced Crowell that he and the team are still on good terms.

“I don’t harbor any ill feelings because he said at the time it was a timing issue,” Crowell said. “He said he doesn’t have any hard feelings. He knows that I’m not a quitter. He knows the work I’ve put in and he feels good about me. That’s the main thing I wanted to make sure is that me being put on IR wasn’t done out of anger.”

Crowell’s surgery was performed by famed Alabama orthopedist Dr. James Andrews. Crowell had originally planned to have a minor arthroscopic surgery, which would have allowed him return within four to six weeks, but he questioned whether he could have played up to his usual standards.

After going on IR, Crowell said Andrews advised a more extensive procedure “that’s going to give me more longevity in the league instead of a quick fix.

“It was not a microfracture where they drill holes, but they just went in there and sanded it down to create that blood flow,”

Crowell was a stud in 2007. Start praying now.

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