Clady hopes to be back for start of season

ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting Denver All-Pro left tackle Ryan Clady suffered a patella tendon injury in his knee while playing basketball.



The Denver Post reported Clady had surgery Tuesday and that the tendon was "only 50-percent torn."

Schefter is reporting that Clady is telling people he will be out three months. If Clady is out for just three months that means both he and Denver have dodged a bullet. Patella tendons that are completely torn usually take six to nine months to heal, ESPN’s Stephania Bell said Wednesday.

The left tackle is arguably Denver’s best player. Using Clady’s timeline, he should be ready to come back before the start of the regular season. Denver opens the regular season Sept. 12 at Jacksonville.

If Denver pursues former Dallas left tackle Flozell Adams, the best available tackle in a free-agent weak class, that would mean the team could be concerned about Clady's ability to be ready for the regular season. At this point, that may be unnecessary.

Still, I’m sure Denver coach Josh McDaniels will let Clady know that he is displeased with his star player hitting the hard court during the offseason.

This could have been a disastrous blow for Denver had the injury been more serious. Denver’s offense is going to be challenged enough in 2010. It can’t afford playing without Clady, who became an instant star after Denver took him at No. 12 in the 2008 draft.

UPDATE: Bell said the four-month return timeline may be optimistic. Bell said that Clady still may not be 100 percent healed when he returns.