Emmanuel Sanders is embarking on a comeback from not one, but two surgeries. Of course, we all know that the Broncos receiver is recouping after suffering a torn Achilles in late December last season. What was unknown up until this point is that Sanders also had “tightrope” surgery on his right ankle, according to Mike Klis of 9News.
The injury, on the opposite leg to the Achilles injury, had been bothering Sanders for two seasons after suffering it in the midst of a 2017 contest with the New York Giants. He missed two games at the time, returned to play the bulk of the season and then sat out the remaining two games that season.
After having an offseason where that right ankle was massaged, iced and treated, Sanders was able to play in 2018, but said that he still didn’t totally feel himself. Despite that right ankle giving him problems, Sanders put together a strong 2018 campaign before going down with the Achilles. For the season, he hauled in 71 of his 98 targets for 868 yards and four touchdowns.
While he was able to produce statistically, Sanders did admit to Klis that he believes the right ankle injury contributed to him tearing his Achilles on his left leg, as he was compensating at times.
“I feel like that was kind of the reason I tore my Achilles,” Sanders told Klis.
As Klis describes through various medical journal reports, the “tightrope” procedure, which occurred a month after the Achilles surgery, “involves drilling holes into the tibia and fibula at the ankle then using a heavy non-absorbable suture with metal buttons at both ends to hold the bones close together.”
Sanders said that the tightrope surgery was more painful than the Achilles surgery and that he even had to “crawl up stairs” back in February.
That may have been Sanders’ reality back then, but the veteran receiver has since worked his way back onto the field and was a full participant in 11-on-11 drills Monday.
“I feel good now that both of them have been taken care of,” he said. “I feel like I’m back to myself, finally.”
Broncos head coach Vic Fangio also told reporters on Monday that he expects Sanders to play at some point this preseason, setting him up for what could be a very productive comeback campaign.