Clowney Looks “Spectacular”, Says Houston Physician
One of the most anticipated returns of the upcoming season is getting closer, and with each passing day it seems news just keeps getting better regarding Jadeveon Clowney’s comeback from microfracture surgery.
Dr. Walt Lowe, head physician for the Houston Texans, said Clowney “looked spectacular” throughout his rehabilitation, but also stressed the team had no hard timetable it was sticking to with regards to an on-field return.
“The real goal in the end is to have him be who he was before he got hurt,” Lowe added. Those statements seem to clash with reports last month that claimed Clowney would be at peak fitness by training camp, but recoveries as slow and intricate as this one obviously require immeasurable caution and patience.
The major factor in Clowney’s healing process is his blood flow restriction training, a weightless exercise that involves wrapping the injured limb and cutting off blood flow by up to 80 per cent in an attempt to reduce swelling. Because of this, Clowney’s quadriceps only lost between 0.5 and 1 cm of circumferential girth compared to the expected 3 cm.
“Even if they’ve recovered well and heal what we’ve repaired, the weakness is so profound that it takes months to get back to a guy that needs to do what [Clowney] needs to do on his leg to be successful playing pro football,” Lowe said.
Following an unstoppable hype train that followed him through the final two years of his college career in South Carolina, Clowney was the consensus number one overall pick in the 2013 draft. His flashes of brilliance during the preseason did not translate into the games that mattered, where injuries limited him to four appearances and a paltry seven tackles all year.
Now, with his rehab very much entering the home stretch, Clowney will need to be an immediate contributor in a front seven that includes Vince Wilfork, Brian Cushing and the league’s best player, J.J. Watt, if the Texans are to be any hope of making waves in January.