San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers played with the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee “totally gone” during his team's 21-12 defeat to the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game Sunday, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Monday.
Days before the game, Rivers had surgery on his right knee, and now needs a more extensive operation to repair a torn ligament in the same knee. His rehab could last six months.
LaDainian Tomlinson has a sprained ligament in his left knee but won’t need surgery.
While confirming that he needs surgery on his torn right anterior cruciate ligament, the quarterback revealed for the first time that he had arthroscopic surgery to clean out the joint a week earlier in order to play in the AFC championship game.
Rivers made it through Sunday’s 21-12 loss to the Patriots in freezing Foxborough, Mass., despite the damage to his knee, which he sustained in an upset win over the Indianapolis Colts a week earlier.
Rivers, lauded by his teammates for his gutsy play, said he’d like to have surgery as soon as possible on the torn ACL. “I’ll be ready by training camp,” he said.
Pressed for more details on his earlier arthroscopic surgery, Rivers nodded toward the training room and said: “I mean, the guys, obviously, I know they don’t talk, but the guys in there would be able to give you the details on that.”
Actually, that’s part of the problem. Trainer James Collins is not allowed to talk to the media and the team often limits the information it releases.
“It wasn’t real extensive, but I mean, really that was the only way I would have had a chance to play by doing that on Monday,” Rivers said. “I thought maybe I could come back in the Colts game but it was catching. That’s what we did on Monday to give me the chance to play on Sunday.”
Rivers missed most of practice last week and was listed as doubtful on Friday’s injury report.
Tomlinson missed Wednesday’s practice but worked out the rest of the week and wasn’t mentioned on Friday’s injury report. He hurt his left knee against the Colts, with the team saying then it was hyperextended, Tomlinson said after Sunday’s game that he has a sprained medial collateral ligament.
Tomlinson said he re-injured the knee when he was hit on the first play from scrimmage against the Patriots. He carried only twice, both in the opening drive. He caught a short screen pass the following series before retiring to the sideline for good, with more than 9:45 left in the first quarter.
PFT: Tom Brady, who turns 36 in August, says he has "never felt better throwing the football" and his confidence is peaking.
AFC championship game
Patriots 21, Chargers 12
Turner proud of Chargers
Jan. 20: Coach praises Rivers, all his players after loss to Patriots.
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