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Eric Decker: Recovery Time for a PCL Sprain

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During the Week 2 match up against the Colts, Eric Decker went down with a knee injury. This article will delve into what the injury is and when we can expect him to return.

What is the injury?

The Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) is a ligament (connective tissue that connects two bones together) in the knee that prevents the tibia (aka shin bone) from traveling too far backwards from the femur (aka thigh bone). In addition, the PCL plays a role in stabilizing the knee during dynamic movements such as walking/running by preventing too much rotation and hyperextension.

According to the Jets, Decker was fortunate enough to only sprain this ligament opposed to tearing it completely. I could not find a video to break down how the injury occurred but a typical PCL sprain commonly occurs from a direct blow to the front of the knee or whenever the knee is forced into hyperextension. The PCL is a strong structure so a rupture is fairly uncommon however a PCL sprain is more common.

What does Decker's recovery look like?

Initially, the focus is to get rid of any swelling that may occur from the injury. Afterwards, it is all about loosening up any tight muscles and subsequently strengthening those muscles (and any other weak muscles) to make sure that these muscles are firing on all cylinders with the appropriate strength to prevent a re-injury or a new injury to another body part.

How long will Decker be out for?

Decker and the Jets do not seem overly concerned about the injury so I'm going to assume that it is not as serious as a grade 3 sprain. A grade 1 sprain typically takes 10 days to heal completely while a grade 2 sprain takes about 3 weeks. Depending on the severity, an athlete can return to sport from anywhere 2-8 weeks after the injury but fortunately there are no other injuries to the knee to complicate the recovery.

Decker did not play in yesterday's game but Ian Rapoport has suggested that he may only miss this week, telling me that he only has a grade 1 sprain. Regardless of its a grade 1 or 2 sprain, Decker should back to 100% after the bye week if not already for the game in London against the Dolphins.