Henry Hynoski was to undergo surgery today to repair the knee injury he suffered Wednesday during an OTA at the Timex Performance Center. The New York Giants fullback said Thursday that returning for the Sept. 8 season opener vs. the Dallas Cowboys is "not an unrealistic goal."
Is that true, or is that simply an athlete hoping that's the case? Dr. Kyle Flik, an Albany area orthopedic surgeon who did his residency at the Hospital for Special Surgery under Giants team physician Dr. Russell Warren, said Friday that Hynoski's target date is realistic. If, that is, the MCL and chip fracture of the lateral tibial plateau are the only injuries the third-year Giant suffered.
"My concern is that usually when we see a little chip fracture like that it often signifies a bigger injury like an anterior cruciate ligament tear," Flik said. "I wouldn't be surprised if we hear in the next couple days that he had an ACL injury. That's possible."
Flik, of course, has not examined Hynoski or seen his X-rays or MRI results. His commentary is based solely on his prior experience with the injury.
"If you just see a set and x-rays and you see a little chip fracture of the lateral tibial plateau ... you almost assume there's been an ACL injury," Flik said.
"When you tear your ACL the knee buckles and when the knee buckles it's such a high impact to the lateral tibial plateau there that you often get a little chip."
Flik said the chip fracture will heal on its own within roughly six weeks and reiterated that if the MCL injury is all that Dr. Warren finds today when he performs Hynoski's surgery that a Week 1 return is possible.
"That's not unreasonable if they are repairing his MCL. That repair should be healed in a couple of months and then it's a matter of rehabbing and getting his strength back," Flik said.
"The MCL repair is the main issue, and if that's all he's having done that seems to be a very reasonable return to play in my opinion. But if, again, if there's something more, if there's an ACL then he's going to be looking more towards the middle of the season."
Dr. Flik graduated from Dartmouth College where he earned 8 varsity letters as a member of both Division 1 ice hockey and lacrosse teams. Before starting medical school at the University of Vermont, he further pursued his athletic interests by playing professional ice hockey in Europe. Dr. Flik attended the Hospital for Special Surgery, long considered one of the top orthopaedic training hospitals in the country. His interest in sports medicine led him to Rush University where he completed a fellowship and served as assistant team physician for the Chicago White Sox (MLB), Chicago Bulls (NBA), and Chicago Rush (Arena Football League). Since coming to the Capital Region, Dr. Flik has served as head team physician for the Albany Patroons and Legends (CBA), Albany Buzz/Sportimes (World Team Tennis) and the Albany Academies teams.