In what the team is calling a precautionary move, running Trent Richardson is tentatively scheduled to have arthroscopic surgery Thursday to remove a “hang nail particle” of loose cartilage that is irritating his left knee.
That’s much better news than what could have been devastating for a franchise, which also learned that last year’s No.1 draft pick, Joe Haden, could face a four-game suspension for testing positive for using a banned substance.
Not a good time for the Browns right now.
Back to Richardson. The team expects the No. 3 overall draft pick but to return before the regular-season opener, according to sources.
The small particle, which has caused swelling, will be “cleaned up” by Dr. James Andrews after it was detected in an MRI. Dr. Andrews will do a final evaluation before he is expected to perform the minor surgery.
Technically, Richardson’s injury is not considered related to the torn meniscus he suffered in the same knee while playing for Alabama during its BCS championship win against LSU. Richardson had arthroscopic surgery for that injury Feb. 3, which caused him to miss some portions of the NFL combine before the draft.
A team source said Richardson could manage the knee without surgery, but a decision to be proactive early in preseason is the prevailing opinion.
Considering the importance Richardson is to the franchise, it makes sense that the team take the cautious route with Richardson, especially since he already had trouble with the knee.
Richardson could return for one or two preseason games under normal projections with this specific injury, but it is unknown if that scenario is in the team’s plans, a source said.
Another team source described Richardson’s scheduled surgery and recovery as a “two-week deal.”
The Browns issued a one-sentence statement earlier Wednesday saying that the running back, picked No. 3 overall in April’s draft, will see Dr. Andrews – the foremost authority on knee injuries. on Thursday.