Some reports seem to be downplaying Timmy Jernigan's MCL tear and minor meniscus tear this weekend. Jimbo says T.J. should be out for 4 to 6 weeks. That sounds like a Grade 3 Tear, according to this information from The U. of California San Francisco Med School.
• A minor, or grade 1, MCL tear can take from a few days to a week and a half to heal sufficiently for you to return to normal activities, including sports.
• A grade 2 tear can take from two to four weeks to heal.
• A grade 3 tear usually takes from four to eight weeks to heal, unless it is associated with damage to the ACL, in which case the recovery time may be longer.
So even in the most severe case it appears Jernigan should be good to go by mid-May -- just in time for summer workouts. But if there are complications? He still has nearly three months to heal before fall practice.
We mention complications because we're troubled by one sentence in the UCSF report:
"If the torn ligament does not heal sufficiently, you may experience instability in the joint, and you will be more susceptible to re-injury."
Ouch. No matter that defensive line is probably the strongest position on the team -- with even more depth on the way -- a 100% healthy Jernigan is absolutely key to keeping opponents off the scoreboard.
Get well, Timmy. Rehab that MCL to be stronger than ever. A big part of the Noles 2012 BCS ambitions are resting on it.