Prognosis for Leon Washington

New Seahawks running back Leon Washington told Ian Furness of Seattle's KJR radio that he is 90 percent healed from the compound leg fracture he suffered last season. The injury wasn't something I followed closely because Washington wasn't in the NFC West, making this time to play catchup.

ESPN injury expert Stephania Bell, a physical therapist certified as an orthopedic clinical specialist and strength-and-conditioning specialist, thinks the Seahawks made a "reasonable" investment in Washington.

Washington suffered a broken tibia and fibula playing against the Raiders in late October. He hopes to be ready for training camp.

"Based on what he is doing right now, it looks pretty promising," Bell said. "His injury was a terrible injury, a compound fracture with lots of blood, very messy, gruesome and a tough injury to come back from. He has continued progress to make. But where he is at in this time frame bodes well. He is doing straight-line running already. Plus, he is relatively young."

Bell agreed with my thought that the Jets' doctors would have been candid with the Seahawks' doctors when they spoke before the trade. NFL doctors would know each other well and expect honesty from one another. There shouldn't be many surprises once Washington reports, in other words. Among the reasons Bell thinks Washington has a decent chance at regaining past form:

  • Washington has only 370 career carries, a low number, and that means his body doesn't have a great deal of wear and tear by NFL standards.

  • Washington is relatively young. He turns 28 in August.

  • The injury did not occur near a joint. That means Washington is at less risk for arthritic complications.

That last point could be an important one. "Once it heals, it's pretty solid," Bell said. "It was nasty and horrible to go through, but once it heals, it should be a one-and-done type injury. It all depends on the healing. If someone heals well from this, they can do really well."