ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins receiver Leonard Hankerson now faces a tougher road to recovery. In addition to fixing his lateral collateral ligament, doctors had to repair the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during surgery Thursday.
Rather than face a rehab period of a few months, Hankerson, who hurt his knee in the second quarter of Sunday's loss at Philadelphia, now will embark on one that will take seven to nine months. If it takes the full nine months, that would put Hankerson's return in the middle of next August.
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said doctors thought there was a possibility of another tear but weren't sure until they performed the surgery. There's often an accompanying tear to any LCL injury. Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III had his ACL, LCL and MCL fixed last January and, as is well-known, returned for the start of training camp, albeit in a limited capacity.
Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan called losing Hankerson a "huge blow." The team had just started to see the consistency it wanted from him: he caught a combined 10 passes in his last two full games.
"Hank is a guy we really rely on in certain situations and I felt strongly that he has been getting a lot better," Kyle Shanahan said. "He was good enough to help us a lot at the beginning of the year, but in these past three games he’s really gone to another level . I was expecting him to finish this year having a big year and it hurts. I was pretty disappointed for him, because you know he’s put in a lot of work. I know he wanted to get those numbers and to show everybody what he’s capable of. With getting hurt, he obviously doesn’t get a chance to do that. He’ll come back next year and he’ll be healthy, but it’s always tough when you lose a good player.”