[Photo from theknee.com]
Beyond the impact of Victor Cruz' season-ending torn patellar tendon on the New York Giants this season, the question has to turn to whether or not we have seen the last of Cruz as a great player. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Kyle Flik said Monday that "it is certainly possible for him to recover fully," but that return to the same level of excellence Cruz had displayed the past three-plus seasons would be "a fantastic outcome."
Cruz suffered the devastating injury in the third quarter Sunday, landing awkwardly while leaping to try to make catch of an Eli Manning pass in the end zone. Flik confirmed that surgical repair of a torn patellar tendon is necessary, and that the recovery time until being able to resume athletic activity is four to six months.
"It's going to be a similar duration of rehab as an ACL. The patellar tendon is outside of the joint, that's good," Flik said. "If nothing else is damaged you can make a full recovery, but definitely it will take its toll on him to some degree.
"He's going to have a lot of rehab ahead of him."
Flik said the fact that Cruz is 27 and not in his 30s works in his favor. It will also work in his favor if tests show no other damage to the knee, particularly an ACL tear. Flik said that Cruz, provided there is no other damage to the knee, should be back on the field by the 2015 preseason. The question remains, though, at what level? Flik, who of course, has not seen Cruz' test results, is unsure.
"He certainly has a good chance of being back for the preseason next year," Flik said. "Anything like this is going to be just one more factor that can keep somebody from being at that elite level.
"I wouldn't make any predictions but I think he will certainly be able to have it repaired and rehabbed and be back at it next year. It's hard to know, with any surgery there is a lot of unknowns and potential problems."
Dr. Kyle Flik Bio
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.