Editor's Note: Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer now reports that Trent Richardson underwent arthroscopic surgery Thursday to remove a loose piece of cartilage from his left knee. The procedure is expected to keep the rookie running back out up to three weeks.
Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson is "tentatively scheduled" to have arthroscopic knee surgery during his visit with Dr. James Andrews on Thursday but should be ready for the season opener, according to Chris Mortensen. The procedure is considered to be minor and is unrelated to the meniscus repair he had on the same knee in February. Richardson could manage without the surgery, but the Browns are taking proactive measure with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Analysis: The words Dr. James Andrews are enough to bump any player down fantasy draft boards, but Richardson could still hold value in the early rounds. The severity of the situation varies depending on the reports, but Mortensen seems confident that Richardson will be ready for the season opener if not sooner. Prior to the knee issues, Richardson was considered a solid first or second round fantasy pick. This surgery will scare owners off, but with his talent and potential workload, he's still worth considering early. Fantasy owners should monitor this situation throughout the preseason.