Redskins' Jansen Will Undergo Leg Surgery

Jon Jansen fractured his right fibula and dislocated the same ankle Sunday. He should be able to train in 3-4 months.
Jon Jansen fractured his right fibula and dislocated the same ankle Sunday. He should be able to train in 3-4 months. (By Preston Keres -- The Washington Post)
By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Right tackle Jon Jansen will undergo surgery to repair his fractured fibula and dislocated right ankle this week, an injury the Washington Redskins expect to effectively end his season. Coach Joe Gibbs said yesterday he has not decided whether veteran Todd Wade or undrafted rookie Stephon Heyer will take Jansen's spot Monday night in Philadelphia.

Jansen, a second-round draft pick in 1999 and the longest-serving player on the roster, was hurt early in the second quarter of the Redskins' season-opening 16-13 victory Sunday, when Miami Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas fell on his legs. The severity of the injury was immediately apparent, Jansen said, and excruciatingly painful.

Although doctors reset the ankle on the field, the extent of the ligament damage will not be known until surgery, which will take place tomorrow or Thursday. Jansen's ankle was twisted in the wrong direction after the injury.

Jansen, 31, started 80 straight games to begin his career, then suffered a season-ending Achilles' tendon rupture in the 2004 preseason opener.

He played every game in 2005 despite breaking both thumbs, and played through several lingering injuries in 2006, eventually missing one game, Dec. 17 at New Orleans, because of a calf strain.

"I felt three or four pops and it was instant pain," Jansen said in a conference call with reporters yesterday. "That was really what was different. When I tore my Achilles' it really didn't hurt much at all, and this time it was quite painful. It was a little less painful after they reset [the ankle] on the field there. It definitely wasn't something I would wish on anybody. It wasn't much fun, but it's over and I'm looking forward to surgery and getting that behind me."

Jansen was writhing on the field for several minutes, as doctors and athletic trainers attended to him. Team physician Ray Thal reset the ankle and Jansen was able to muster a fist pump as he was carted off.

Jansen spoke to a few teammates from home Sunday night. "He definitely wasn't happy with the situation, obviously," center Casey Rabach said, "but he understood that's football and stuff like that happens."

Gibbs said the injury is similar to the broken leg and high ankle sprain guard Randy Thomas suffered in 2005, and the prospects of a full recovery look good. "It's just one of those things that can happen," Gibbs said. "You hate it."

Jansen believes he will be ready to resume playing in roughly four months. He will spend six weeks in a cast and on crutches, after which he will wear a walking boot and should be able to put some weight on the ankle.

Within 12 weeks after surgery, he should be cleared to run and after three to four months, he should be able to train fully.

Surgery could reveal more extensive ligament damage, which would affect his recovery, and Jansen said he was unsure if or when the Redskins would make the decision to put him on the injured-reserve list, freeing up a roster spot but making him ineligible to play again this season.

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