Hamstring epidemic

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- On the first day of training camp, Rex Ryan announced wide receiver Santonio Holmes had a hamstring injury. And so does Stephen Hill. Plus Patrick Turner, Royce Pollard, Jeremy Kerley and DeMarcus Ganaway have bad hammies as well.

In fact, a good majority of the wide receivers were nursing some kind of hamstring injury, and Ryan sheepishly joked that it might have been his fault.

"I want to push these guys and that’s exactly what we’ve done," Ryan said on the first day of the team’s mandatory minicamp Tuesday. "Obviously, I think I’ve probably pushed the wide out group in particular a little too hard. Now that’s what we call an after-action report and that will certainly be in there."

Daniel Kharrazi is an orthopedic surgeon at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles who follows the Jets. He said hamstring injuries usually occur when there is a history of injury, or if the muscle is overextended. The possibility is increased if the muscle is weakened or fatigued.

Given that they are professional athletes, Kharrazi doubts it’s a lack of conditioning that’s causing the injuries, and speculated that, considering what Ryan said, fatigue could have been the issue.

"I don’t think their guys are weak. I don’t think they have reduced flexibility," Kharrazi said.

He has not examined any of the Jets, so he can not give specifics on how long players might be out. In general, depending on how the strain is graded, it should be healed by the time the team has to report for training camp on July 26.

"If it’s a grade one or two," Kharrazi said, "the odds are pretty good they’ll be healed. The muscle fibers start to form scar tissue and need three to six months to recover fully."

Odds are, most of the affected wide receivers won’t have a recurrence of the initial injury, but Kharrazi said that prior injury can make the muscle more vulnerable in the future.