Seahawks' Walter Jones, Marcus Trufant could miss the start of the season
Jones will have an arthroscopic procedure to remedy potential scar tissue in his knee while Trufant has an injured disk in his back
Seattle Times staff reporter
RENTON — Tackle Walter Jones' left knee needs more surgery, and cornerback Marcus Trufant's back injury will require more time.
Those were the anatomical realities coach Jim Mora described after the Seahawks practiced Wednesday, diagnosing the injuries that have cast some doubt whether two of Seattle's best players will be ready when the season begins.
Jones will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee today, the same knee he had operated on in December. Trufant doesn't need surgery, but he may need more time after being diagnosed with a disk injury. He has yet to be active in training camp.
Jones, 35, underwent microfracture surgery on his left knee in December. He left practice Monday because of how his knee felt and underwent a magnetic-resonance image (MRI) test. The arthroscopic procedure will be to remove any lose bodies or scar tissue affecting the knee.
"We don't think it's anything significant," coach Jim Mora said, "but we just want to make sure."
Jones is scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery Thursday morning at the Seattle Surgery Center. Dr. Ed Khalfayan and Mike McAdam will perform the procedure.
Is there a minimum time Jones will be out?
"I don't know," Mora said. "We'll have more information in the morning. We don't think that it's anything mind-blowing serious, but we want to be sure.
"He just didn't feel right. The big man didn't feel right, so we want to make sure that he's OK."
Mora provided no timeline for Trufant's return, either. Trufant, 28, suffered a back injury on July 29, two days before training camp began. He was placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list for players who do not pass a physical exam.
Trufant's rehabilitation has included conditioning in the pool, and Mora said Trufant has began running. Tests this week showed there is an injury to a disk. Mora did not specify the nature or severity of the injury only that there is an "issue."
"It's not anything that will need surgery," Mora said. "It's good that we found this out now rather than in the middle of the season and tried to push him through it because now we can make some decisions how to move forward."
Those decisions will relate to Trufant's status on the roster. If he is not activated from the PUP list by the time of final roster cuts on Sept. 5, he won't be eligible to be activated again until after the Seahawks' sixth game. At that point, Seattle would have three weeks in which to activate Trufant or lose him for the season.
"He's making significant progress," Mora said of Trufant. "He is doing really well. We're going to be very, very careful with backs."
Jones is coming back from microfracture surgery, a procedure in which holes are drilled into the bone so the blood flow will stimulate the growth of cartilage. Jones practiced the first day of training camp, but suffered back spasms on Day 3 and missed the next 12 days.
Jones did not play in the exhibition game Saturday, and left the field midway through the first practice of the week.
Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck heard Jones was scheduled for surgery, and he was asked if he was worried by the possibility of Jones' continued absence.
"Maybe if it was someone else," Hasselbeck said, "but he's just done it so many times. No OTAs, no minicamp, no training camp, Pro Bowl. It's what he does."
However, Mora said the team does have to move forward preparing for the possibility that neither Trufant nor Jones will be ready for the first game of the season.
"I think you absolutely have to think in those terms," Mora said. "I think you make a mistake if you don't. Plan for the worst and hope for the best. There's no panic."
Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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