COLUMBUS — Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett underwent arthroscopic knee surgery after leaving Saturday’s game at Michigan, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to The Blade.
Ohio State's J.T. Barrett leaves the game after after being injured in the third quarter of Saturday's 31-20 win over Michigan.
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Tim May of the Columbus Dispatch first reported that Barrett had the procedure done on Sunday.
Barrett, who said the injury occurred when he was bumped by a cameraman on the Buckeyes’ sideline before taking the field vs. UM, played until the third quarter before he said the injury “locked up” and forced him to leave the game. He did not return to play, and further evaluation upon his return to Ohio State showed the need for surgery on his meniscus.
Ohio State spokesman Jerry Emig said he could not confirm that Barrett underwent any surgery following the Michigan game.
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said Monday that Barrett was “probable” to play against Wisconsin. On his radio show Thursday, Meyer said, “He’s been cleared to play. He’s going to play in the game.”
The timeline, however, is bit ambitious for a procedure of its type.
“For the athletes I've treated, that's a little bit quick, but everybody is different in terms of their recovery,” said Dr. Moira McCarthy, an orthopedic surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City who specializes in arthroscopic knee and shoulder surgeries.
“No doubt, he's going to have really, really, really good, aggressive therapy, he's going to be icing this pretty regularly and doing his exercises. Hopefully his muscles won't atrophy like normal peoples' muscles do and he'll be full strength and ready to go, but I think a week is a little bit on the aggressive side.”
Redshirt freshman Dwayne Haskins, who replaced Barrett against Michigan and led a pair of touchdown drives, would start in Barrett’s place if it turns out the fifth-year senior cannot play.
Asked if it’s realistic that Barrett could play only six days after surgery, Dr. McCarthy said it’s possible, but noted she didn’t have the full picture on his meniscus tear and what the surrounding cartilage looked like.
But typically, she said, most athletes do not return to the field in just a week.
“For me, I tend to be a little bit less aggressive and more conservative,” Dr. McCarthy said. “I think I wouldn't let somebody go back and play until they had full motion, full strength, no swelling, and no pain. I think that's rare to happen within a week or two. Usually it's closer to three or four weeks.”
Barrett, who was named the Big Ten’s quarterback of the year Thursday for the third time, has passed for 2,717 yards and rushed for 683 more this season. He is fifth in the Football Bowl Subdivision in touchdown passes (33), seventh in passing efficiency (166.95), and 10th in completion percentage (66.2) while running for 11 more scores.
Whether he can add those totals on Saturday remains to be seen.
But if anyone can return from surgery that quickly, Dr. McCarthy said it would be an already well-conditioned athlete who has expert medical care and the muscle to negate atrophy from surgery.
“He has all the factors going for him, and the fact he has really top-notch, I believe, care and therapy,” Dr. McCarthy said. “If anybody's going to be able to do it, it's going to be someone like him.”
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