Marshall to be out four months after arm injury requires surgery

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Brandon Marshall could miss up to four months of offseason preparations after slicing his right forearm in a freak accident.

The Denver Broncos made their first public comments Tuesday on their star receiver's injury. After initially downplaying the injury that required surgery, Marshall has acknowledged it was the result of horseplay with family members and a misplaced fast-food bag. He said he slipped on the bag Saturday while wrestling with family members at a Florida resort and put his right arm through a home entertainment center.

In a statement, Broncos head athletic trainer Steve Antonopulos confirmed reports Marshall "sustained right forearm lacerations to one artery, one vein, one nerve, two tendons and three muscles."

"All have been repaired, and his right forearm and elbow will be immobilized for six weeks," Antonopulos said. "Rehabilitation will begin in six weeks. Full recovery is expected to take three to four months."

That means Marshall might be ready to resume football activities in time for the start of training camp in late July.

The third-year pro has missed significant portions of training camp in his two years in the NFL, although being sidelined last summer with a leg injury didn't adversely affect him during his breakout 2007 season.

Marshall, a fourth-round draft choice in 2006 out of Central Florida, blossomed into the Broncos' best receiver last year, catching 102 passes for 1,325 yards and seven touchdowns. His emergence as Jay Cutler's primary target facilitated the recent release of disgruntled wide receiver Javon Walker, who signed with Oakland.

"We know what he means to this team and we are going to need him," cornerback Champ Bailey said. "I just hope we do everything in our power as a team to get him back healthy and ready for the season."

Cutler was scheduled to speak with reporters Tuesday, the second day of the Broncos' offseason strength and conditioning program, but that was postponed.